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14.05.03
Register now to secure broadband in your area

Increasing demand for broadband internet connections across Cornwall could see a further 17 telephone exchanges upgraded to the new technology – but only if people register their interest.

The forecast is based on the number of people who have already said they would like to receive broadband, which provides connection to the internet at speeds up to 40 times faster than a conventional modem.

There are now 14 telephone exchanges across Cornwall that have been upgraded with broadband technology, 12 of which are thanks to actnow, the £12.5 million project in which Objective One has invested £5.25 million.

actnow encourages take-up of broadband in Cornwall and helps businesses make the most of the opportunities it presents. There are now over 5,300 broadband subscribers in Cornwall, with nearly 1700 sign ups from small businesses alone.

Nigel Ashcroft, actnow project director and chairman of the Objective One Information Communications Technology task force, said:actnow has been a real catalyst in bringing broadband to Cornwall resulting in one of the fastest take-ups of any rural area of the UK.

“What we are seeing now is other exchanges being enabled that are outside our original target list because the people of Cornwall are seeing the advantages of faster internet connections and registering their interest. Once that interest hits a certain trigger level,- which is usually between 250–400 people in an exchange area, BT can then justify the expense of upgrading the local exchange and provide broadband connections, confident that the investment is being made where the local community will really benefit.”

The first town in Cornwall to be broadband enabled specifically as a result of reaching its trigger level is Helston, which had its exchange upgraded last week. Liskeard has also hit its trigger level and will be upgraded to broadband on 23rd July.

Elsewhere in Cornwall, Par, Wadebridge and Hayle are all fast approaching their trigger levels, which could see them all upgraded by the end of the year if registrations continue at their current rate. There are a further 14 exchanges across Cornwall for whom trigger levels have been set by BT. However, unless the rate of registration of interest increases, it could take up to another three years for some of these to be upgraded. For example, Mevagissey has so far only registered interest levels at 18% of its trigger.

Ranulf Scarbrough, Project Manager for actnow, says: "We are hoping to see the rate of interest accelerating dramatically. In towns which have already reached their trigger levels or are close to it, the role of certain individuals has been has crucial. For example, John Mitchell, a local businessman in Helston, championed broadband and raised awareness amongst his local community. We would like to see similar local activity in towns yet to reach their trigger level. There is no question that this could drive demand and help bring forward the date when these towns get broadband. actnow wants to work in partnership with local champions and so if anyone is interested in helping build demand in their exchange area, they should contact us.”

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: “Our substantial investment in actnow is part of our remit to build better businesses in Cornwall by creating a climate in which they can succeed and prosper.

“What we are seeing now is the huge catalytic effect that investment is having in stimulating broadband take-up across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but it is crucial that people continue to pre-register so that individual exchanges hit their respective trigger points to enable BT to upgrade equipment.”

For further information about how to register, visit www.bt.com/broadband

To contact actnow either for information or to discuss helping to raise awareness of broadband in your local area, call Emma Lydon on 01209 722850.

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Editor's notes:

Below is a list of Cornish telephone exchanges that have been earmarked for possible broadband upgrades. The trigger point is the number of people who must register their interest before their exchange will be broadband enabled. The percentage so far shows the percentage of pre-registration already achieved.

Exchange Trigger Point Percentage registered so far
Par 300 79%
Wadebridge 300 77%
Hayle 400 74%
Devoran 350 66%
Nanpean 250 43%
Callington 350 36%
St Day 350 31%
St Just 350 31%
Stenalees 350 26%
Portreath 350 23%
St Agnes 350 23%
Three Waters 250 24%
Germoe 350 21%
St Columb 350 22%
St Dominick 400 18%
Lostwithiel 350 19%
Mevagissey 350 18%

For more information contact:
Emma Lydon on 01209 722850

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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