Superfast Broadband is Coming to Porthleven

The plan to roll out superfast broadband through-out Cornwall is well under way with many places able to access this now, or very soon. But how does Porthleven fair in this? Pretty good really, as since a briefing I recently attended I am mightily impressed with what has happened and what is going to happen in the next twelve months.

Porthleven will get fibre to the premises (FTTP) and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). Now, I cannot say too much at the moment due to some of this information is still restricted, but what I can say is a lot of Porthleven will be able to access FTTP. The FTTC should be available in the first half of 2012, with FTTP being available in the latter half of the year.

This is a huge project with the aim of 250,000 premises covered by 2014, and 10,000 businesses connected by 2015. So far, 16,000 premises have availability of FTTC with the aim of having 90,000 by the end of March 2012.

For more information the website for this project is: www.superfastcornwall.org or you can follow the team on Twitter via @sfastcornwall

Super-fast Broadband is Coming to Porthleven

Last year it was announced that Cornwall would be one of the first areas of the UK to receive super-fast broadband. This could mean many homes and business could receive speeds of up to 100mb. The current average in Cornwall is between 1mb and 10mb.

I blogged before about my disappointment that Porthleven would not be one of the first in Cornwall to receive this service. In fact Porthleven has to rely on the Helston exchange for its current broadband service. So, if Helston is down the pecking order, so is Porthleven.

The exchange in Helston was not due for the super-fast broadband upgrade till 2013. This in my opinion was too long of a wait. Other residents agreed with me because they wrote to me asking for me to push up Porthleven up the waiting list. Whilst I do not have a say in who gets it first, I did make representations to officers at Cornwall Council asking for them to push for Porthleven (and Helston) being higher up on the list.

Today I received an email from a helpful officer who informed me that Porthleven would be able to receive super-fast broadband next year. It is hoped it could be be completed in the first six months, but I have been told it will be by the end of the year.

This is great news for Porthleven, as the current broadband service is a little erratic with speeds varying in different homes; even those who are next door to each other. For instance, I receive an average 4-5mb download speeds, but I know others who fail to get half of that.

I shall keep you informed when I know more.

Super-fast Broadband – Who gets it first.

Super-fast Broadband is coming to Cornwall. The real question is what areas will get it first. Today I received an e-mail as to those areas. Sadly its not the Helston and Porthleven area, but I am sure we will get it as soon as possible. The area that are to receive it first are:

Leedstown, Chiverton Cross area, St Agnes, Portreath, St Day, Devoran, Stenalees and Par. These areas will be upgraded at the end of March 2011. These areas are ahead of the first main roll-out that will be in the South East area of Cornwall.  At the end of the day I am very pleased that this is happening in Cornwall. Too many times Cornwall being at the far west of the Country seems to get left out when things are being handed out.

At the end of the day this is good news. I am told that between 80% -90% of all businesses and households will receive this by 2014. The question is, what areas will not be able to receive it and how will this be overcome.

Briefing on next-gen Broadband – makes sense now?

(I received this briefing today, so I thought I would share it with you all)

Background – the actnow project (2002-2008)
The award winning actnow project was the UK’s first broadband partnership, set up in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly between the public and private sectors, and funded with EU Objective One funds matched with BT private sector and UK public sector investment. It had stunning success, far exceeding its original targets, and helping over 10,000 small and medium sized businesses to make the most of first generation broadband technology by working more productively and expanding into new markets.
The economic impact is clear, with over 4,000 jobs secured and an annual impact on the peninsula’s GDP exceeding £100m.
EU Convergence Funding
When Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly qualified for EU Convergence Funding for the 2007-2013 period, the challenge from the EU was to make investments that would truly transform the economic landscape, enabling Cornwall’s business base to change from a reliance on older low earning sectors like agriculture and tourism, to a more knowledge based, high value added economy.
Cornwall’s businesses had seized the opportunities of first generation broadband, and in many cases pushed it to the limit. The Cornwall Economic Forum grasped the opportunity to promote a significant investment in Cornwall’s digital infrastructure, and this helped ensure its inclusion in the new Operational Programme.
Next Generation Broadband (NGB[1])
The Next Generation Broadband investment represents the single largest and most transformational ERDF investment that the Convergence programme will make. It contributes towards the programme’s operational objectives by providing the platform for economic transformation to a more knowledge based, high value added, lower carbon economy. The project links together and adds value to virtually all other investments in the programme, including, place based regeneration activity, innovation centres and the Combined Universities in Cornwall developments.
Convergence ERDF funds will be used to gap fund the selected private sector investor, British Telecom (BT). The infrastructure will be built, owned and operated by BT. There will be an obligation to ensure open access to wholesale services by all service providers. BT intends to invest £132.5 million if a £53.5 million grant is awarded. The project is not reliant on UK public sector matched funding.
The investment will deliver the following Operational Programme results:
          10,000 businesses using new infrastructure
          6,000 businesses with improved performance (GVA)
          4,000 jobs created and 2,000 jobs safeguarded
A Business Focussed Investment
The primary purpose of this project is to ensure that targeted high growth, high value businesses, including start-ups, those with potential to develop, and inward investors, have access to NGB services. The number of targeted businesses will be maximised by ensuring early deployment to business parks and other areas of Convergence activity, providing fibre connectivity with up to 100Mb/s capability. High value businesses will be prioritised for connection within the rollout plan wherever possible and will be selected for higher speed solutions where this is achievable.
Demand stimulation activities will be an integral part of the project, driving businesses take up and highlighting new opportunities enabled by world class connectivity. The project aims to drive up both business and overall take up, ensuring private sector investment is maximised and guaranteeing the long term sustainability of the network.
Extensive Coverage
Access to superfast broadband in the wider community is hugely important in order to attract and retain high value businesses in Cornwall. The BT proposal offers wide coverage, with a fibre rich solution available to 86% of all premises. There are 2 main types of fibre based solution – FTTP and FTTC
Fibre to the Premise (FTTP). The fibre optic network is extended from the local telephone exchange (there are 100 in Cornwall) as far as the business or household. Fibre has staggering capacity (e.g. a single strand can transmit millions of calls or dozens of HDTV channels simultaneously), so FTTP is a fully future-proofed connection. With launch speeds of 100Mbps, we are aiming to make about half the fibre connections as FTTP.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). The fibre optic network is extended from the local telephone exchange to the green roadside cabinets. Superfast broadband is then delivered over a much shorter copper line to the end user – often a few hundred metres instead of several kms – giving typical speeds of 15-40Mbps.
Infill solutions, such as wireless, satellite and advanced copper technology, will provide a step change in broadband connectivity in the estimated 14% of premises where a fibre solution is uneconomic.

This scale deployment provides the commercial incentive for BT and helps the feasibility of their business case. Wider coverage in turn drives significant wider socio-economic benefits, including the ability to work more flexibly from home, to start up knowledge businesses, attract inward investors, and the opportunity to develop innovative new NGB content and applications. The scale will also ensure the network becomes attractive to



Super-fast Broadband – A Reality?

Today the Leader of the Council, Alec Robertson has announced in conjunction with the Chief Exec of BT that a multi-million pound project will be launched that would enable the people of Cornwall access to super-fast broadband.
If this is indeed pulled off, Cornwall I believe will benefit from this technology. Not just in business and industry, but us mere mortals at home. To a lot of people this would enable people to make better use of the internet, or actually be able to access the internet. There are still far too many places in Cornwall that have limited or no access to the current broadband service.
It could also revolutionise the way we watch our favourite programs via the internet. I am a great fan of the TV Company’s sites. With this technology you might really be able to watch something without waiting for the next segment to be loaded.
The real benefit should result in major job creation with the powers-to-be claiming it could result in thousands of jobs being created. But there is a real danger that unless these thousands of job being taken up by those presently residents of Cornwall. House prices could rise.
The simple reason is that there has been a massive premium and shortage of housing that has resulted in over inflated prices. That’s unless we start to build many thousands of homes. This of course would not go down well with many people of Cornwall as Towns would suddenly increase in size. I know how much criticism the previous Government housing strategy came under, and more recently the Wainhomes application in St. Austell.
This question is like the old chicken and egg argument. Do you need houses before jobs, or jobs before houses? That I am afraid, will get you different answers depending on who you speak too.
At the end of the day I do believe Cornwall should get this technology. For far too long we in the very south west have been missed off the list for new shiny objects. Let’s hope this super-fast broadband really happens and we don’t get the old marketing ploy of ‘up-to’ that current ISPs use.

I have posted before about this. Feel free to refresh your memory with my previous post by clicking HERE