Government Minister Visits Expanding
Cornwall Broedband Project
A senior government Minister will carry out a fact finding
visit to Cornwall's Objective One funded pioneering broadband
project actnow later this month, just a few days after a further
expansion of the multi million pound initiative.
Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael will call at actnow's
headquarters at Tolvaddon Energy Park, Camborne, on Tuesday
May 13 to speak to senior representatives of key organisations
involved in the £12.5 million private and public sector
He said today: "I am taking the opportunity of a visit
to the South West to see firsthand the success of the actnow
project. The project has achieved a tremendous amount since
it was launched a little more than a year ago. Its success
will have a lasting impact on Cornwall and, I am sure, provide
the broadband blueprint for many other areas."
Whilst at the actnow offices, Mr Michael will also meet the
bosses of two Cornish agricultural firms, which are among
the 1,700 Cornish businesses benefiting from actnow. Peter
Phillips, the owner of agricultural consultants Business Projections
Ltd, of Newquay, and Kevin Gray-Roberts, the owner of organic
food producer Carley's Organic Foods, of Truro, are convinced
that broadband offers huge benefits for the agricultural industry.
" The broadband link has meant that we can provide a
better service for our farming clients," said Mr Phillips.
"It's much more efficient. We can send and receive the
latest information quickly, accurately and securely and, of
course, there are none of the dial-up delays we experienced
with the previous service. For us, broadband is key to reacting
quickly to fast changing conditions."
The experience is very similar at Carley's Organic Foods,
which has teamed up with 40 other organic producers certified
by the Soil Association to launch Cornwall Organic Partnership
(COP). "Broadband allows us to communicate so much more
quickly and efficiently with our dedicated team of Cornish
suppliers," said Mr Gray-Roberts. "It's very important
that Cornish businesses embrace new technology and are seen
by potential customers to be at the cutting edge of business
practice and not playing catch-up as has happened so often
in the past."
The actnow partnership today confirmed it is to extend its
extensive range of support and advisory services to small
and medium businesses in Helston when ADSL broadband services
become available in the town from Wednesday May 7.
Helston will be the first town in Cornwall to receive broadband
through BT's broadband registration scheme. The scheme, introduced
in July of last year, allows people to register an interest
in ordering broadband in areas not yet served by the high
BT, one of the actnow partners, has set a registration target
for each of its exchanges based on the cost of the upgrade.
Once the target is achieved - in the case of Helston, it was
400 registrations - broadband will be installed.
Ranulf Scarbrough, actnow project manager, said: "BT's
broadband registration scheme is an excellent example of local
communities being able to influence major investment decisions.
It is therefore very important that people in Cornwall not
yet served by broadband who would benefit from the service
register their interest with this scheme by contacting their
internet service provider. Further details are available from
the website www.bt.com/broadband"
The actnow package for small and medium businesses includes
pre and post sign-up advice, a range of computer equipment
and broadband connection options to suit the needs of individual
businesses, financial support and privileged members
access to the actnow website. The financial support means
that participating businesses pay no installation charges
for the most popular broadband services and that there is
a £10 reduction in the monthly rental charges to just
£19.99 a month.
Businesses wanting further information can contact actnow
on 01209 722850 or go to the website www.actnowcornwall.co.uk
For further information contact Emma Lydon, of actnow on
01209 722850, or Jason Mann, of BT, on 0845 7262624.
The actnow programme is a demand-led initiative
to encourage businesses in Cornwall to gain the support they
need to move into the new broadband economy. Including about £5.25 million from Objective One, it is one of the largest
private and public sector partnerships in Cornwall since the
county was granted Objective One status by the European Union
in 2000. Partners include BT, the Objective One Partnership,
Cornwall Enterprise, the South West of England Regional Development
Agency, Cornwall County Council, Business Link Devon & Cornwall and Cornwall College.
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line)
broadband transforms the pair of copper wires between a local
telephone exchange and the customers telephone socket
into a high speed digital line.
The 13 Cornish exchanges already equipped
with broadband are: Truro, St Austell, Redruth, Camborne,
Newquay, Penzance, Falmouth, Bodmin, Launceston, St Ives,
Saltash, Bude and Penryn.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
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