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20.10.03
Broadband accelerates across Cornwall

High speed service is "the icing on the cake" for Camelford's regeneration drive

actnow, the pioneering multi million pound project for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly today announced a major expansion of high speed broadband across Cornwall, thanks to Objective One.

Seven further communities, representing more than 14,000 Cornish homes and businesses, are to be equipped with broadband before Christmas. They include Camelford, where there has been unprecedented interest in ordering the high speed service.

The announcement was today welcomed as "fantastic news" by Cornwall County Councillor Bob Ellison, who is also a director of economic regeneration organisation Cornwall Enterprise.

Councillor Ellison said: "Broadband will boost our economic regeneration prospects no end. It really is the icing on Camelford's regeneration cake. My next objective is to secure a suitable site for a modern business park."

More than 500 Camelford households and businesses had registered an interest in ordering broadband.

The other Cornish communities to benefit are Callington, Lostwithiel, Mevagissey, Three Waters, St Just and St Day. Broadband will be available at all seven Cornish communities from December 17.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership said: "We have invested £5.25 million in actnow to ensure that Cornish businesses have the benefit of broadband. Thanks to the decreasing costs of technology, we have been able to bring broadband to far more communities than originally envisaged, including the seven announced today, which is wonderful news."

Businesses using broadband in the seven communities will be able to receive the full actnow support package of business advice, rebates on broadband set-up costs and monthly charges and the actnow accelerator service, which provides subsidies of up to 40 per cent on the cost of broadband-related ICT investments.

Nigel Ashcroft, actnow project director, today paid tribute to the "outstanding" efforts of local campaigners to raise awareness of the benefits of broadband in their communities.

He said: "What has been achieved in Camelford, in particular, is phenomenal. We have been working hard behind the scenes to find a way of bringing the service to the town.

"Thanks to support from the Cornwall Objective One Partnership, we are delighted to build on the success of actnow by supporting the arrival of broadband in Camelford and six other Cornish communities."

Lizzie Beesley, South West regional director for BT, one of the major partners in actnow, said: "I would like to congratulate the people of all these Cornish communities for strong and highly successful campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of broadband.

"The number of people in these communities who have shown a clear interest in broadband has given us the confidence that we are directing our investment where there is real customer demand for the service."

Camelford businessman Simon Final, who led the broadband campaign in the town, said: "It's great that actnow has been able to play a key role in putting Camelford on the broadband map. The response in Camelford to this campaign has been superb and the Chamber of Commerce have backed me all the way. The community has shown that there is a great demand for broadband in this town. Broadband becoming available will make a tremendous difference to many Camelford people and organisations."

actnow has been recognised as being the most successful rural broadband partnership in the country, having recently received for its innovation a national champions award in the Broadband Britain Challenge.

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Editor's notes:

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 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly were granted Objective One status by the European Union in 2000.

Partners include BT, the Objective One Partnership Office, Cornwall Enterprise, the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council, Business Link Devon and Cornwall and Cornwall College.

Broadband operates at much higher speeds than a standard internet connection with consumer products typically 10 times faster and business products up to 40 times faster. Products can be ordered from a range of service providers.

For more information contact Emma Lydon of actnow on 01209 722850.

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Jason Clark
Communications Adviser
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
objectiveone@cornwall.gov.uk

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