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17.11.03
BT maps way to broadband in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly - forty nine exchanges to get "trigger" targets

BT today laid plans to complete the roll-out of high speed broadband throughout Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It will:

upgrade every exchange where there is sufficient demand
encourage external involvement and explore other technologies such as wireless where demand is unlikely to justify BT's exchange investment alone

The goal is to bring the benefits of broadband communications within reach of every business and household in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by 2005.

The accelerated investment programme is based on BT's successful exchange registration scheme which encourages customers to show there is a demand for broadband in their area. When registrations reach the agreed level, BT then upgrades their exchange. Today BT said it was now able to allocate target or "trigger" registration levels to 2,300 more exchanges across the UK. They serve about two million customers. Once enabled, BT ADSL broadband would be available from exchanges serving more than 99 per cent of homes and businesses nationally.

Forty eight Cornish and one Isles of Scilly exchange have been given target trigger levels for the first time.

Lizzie Beesley, BT's South West regional director, said: "Just about everybody in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly can be connected to a broadband-enabled BT exchange. If they can demonstrate that the demand is there, BT will invest in the confidence that we are meeting our customers' needs."

Today's announcement still leaves 600 of the very smallest exchanges in the UK without a trigger level, each serving fewer than 300 customers. Ten serve fewer than ten customers each. These areas, serving around 100,000 households, will also require different partnership investment approaches to receive broadband, such as BT Exchange Activate which allows external partners to buy ADSL capacity for as few as 30 customers on an exchange.

There is also the issue of how to address the small percentage of people who live in already enabled areas, but who are currently unable to get ADSL broadband.

BT is currently trialling encouraging new wireless solutions and is working to extend the physical reach of ADSL from enabled exchanges.

Lizzie Beesley said: "BT's plans include everybody who lives and works in every part of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

"BT's national registration scheme has succeeded in stimulating demand for broadband in all areas where exchange trigger levels had been set.

"The universal success of the scheme, and the unanimous support it has encouraged among communities, mean that we are now able to set trigger levels for these new exchanges.

"We are removing the uncertainty over whether or when they will ever get on to the map of Broadband Britain."

Meanwhile, actnow, the award winning Objective One Cornish broadband project, of which BT is a major partner, continues to go from strength to strength. The £12.5 million private and public sector partnership provides intensive training, advice and support to help Cornish small and medium businesses make the most of broadband technology. About 2,400 Cornish businesses have so far signed up for broadband.

Information about broadband partnerships is available at www.btplc.com/broadband-partnerships

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Editor's notes:

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband is available from 1850 BT exchanges serving more than 80 per cent of UK households.

If all existing exchange trigger levels are achieved, the figure would increase to 90 per cent. Today's announcement would take that above 99 per cent, once all exchanges with new trigger levels achieve their targets.

Demand registration triggers for the 2,300 exchanges have been set by estimating the total cost of rollout to these exchanges and applying a weighted average cost linked to the number of lines connected to the individual exchange to generate the trigger levels. Triggers will range from 100 to 500.

Previous triggers were based on the actual cost of enabling individual exchanges worked on a case by case basis. The new approach also acknowledges changes in the cost of equipment supply and has enabled triggers for these exchanges to be lower than would otherwise have been the case.

Average penetration of broadband on an enabled exchange is approximately 96 per cent. ADSL broadband can operate at up to 40 times the speed of a standard modem internet connection, although the most popular applications for homes and small and medium businesses are about 10 times faster than a normal connection.

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 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 & Cornwall and Cornwall College.

Issued by BT Regional Media Relations. For more information please call 0845 726262

CORNWALL AND ISLES OF SCILLY NEW TRIGGER EXCHANGES

Exchange / Trigger
Tregony - 100
Tintagel - 250
Cardinham - 100
Stoke Climsland - 250
Canworth Water - 100
The Lizard - 250
Manaccan - 100
Polperro - 250
North Petherwin - 100
Crantock - 250
Bridgerule - 150
Rumford - 250
Sennen - 150
Port Isaac - 250
Mawgan - 150
Stithians - 300
Boscastle - 150
St Merryn - 300
St Mabyn - 150
Roche - 300
Week St Mary - 150
Dobwalls - 350
Kilkhampton - 150
Mullion - 350
St Mawgan - 150
Fowey - 400
Otterham Station - 150
Rilla Mill - 400
St Gennys - 150
St Tudy - 400
Morwenstow - 150
Porthtowan - 400
Portscatho - 150
Padstow - 400
Lanreath - 200
Fraddon - 400
Mawnan Smith - 200
Trebetherick - 450
Pipers Pool - 200
Perranporth - 500
St Mawes - 200
Grampound Road - 500
Leedstown - 200
Gussnislake - 500
Veryan - 200
Marazion - 500
Polruan - 200
Millboork - 500
Scillonia - 300

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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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