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06.01.03    
Major new expansion of Cornwall broadband project

A further major expansion of Cornwall's multi-million pound actnow project was announced today as demand for high speed broadband accelerates across Cornwall.

The number of Cornish businesses and households to have signed up for ADSL broadband this week surpassed the 2,500 mark.

With broadband orders in Cornwall having grown to about 90 a week, four further BT exchanges at St Ives, Bude, Saltash and Penryn will be equipped with sophisticated ADSL technology from Monday February 3.

ADSL Broadband provides a permanent internet connection, so there are no more dial-up delays. Data transfer is up to 40 times faster than a standard internet connection using a 56k modem and a flat monthly fee means more manageable costs. Phone calls can also be made over one line at the same time. For businesses, this means significant savings in time and money, with resulting increases in productivity.

Nigel Ashcroft, project director for the actnow private and public sector partnership, said: "This is further excellent news for Cornwall's economy. The latest expansion means that high speed broadband communications will be available at four more key towns in Cornwall. It is tremendously heartening that we have come so far less than nine months since actnow was launched."

Phil Evans, actnow project director for BT, one of the major partners in actnow, said: "It is a tribute to the people and businesses of Cornwall that actnow is proving a success story, which goes from strength to strength.

"The huge amount of work being carried out in support of actnow will have a lasting, beneficial impact on the Cornish economy for decades to come. Above all, it is opening new opportunities and new ways of working for the people of Cornwall.

"We are already seeing many Cornish firms using the technology to develop exciting new markets, both nationally and overseas."

Nine BT exchanges in Truro, St Austell, Redruth, Camborne, Newquay, Penzance, Falmouth, Bodmin and Launceston have already been equipped with the latest ADSL technology.

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.

For the basic engineer-installed broadband service provided by BT, the subsidy on installation charges is £210, which means installation is free to actnow customers. Subsidised monthly line rental begins at just £19.99 for the first two years of using a broadband connection through BT.

Further information can be obtained by calling actnow on 01209 722850 or visiting the website www.actnowcornwall.co.uk

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Editor's notes:

The actnow programme, launched on April 24 2002, 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 Office, Cornwall Enterprise, Council, Business Link Devon the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County & Cornwall and Cornwall College.

ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) transforms the pair of copper wires between a local telephone exchange and the customer's telephone socket into a high speed digital line.

It is called asymmetric because it is generally configured to move data more quickly from exchange to customer than from customer to exchange. This makes it particularly suitable for applications where customers expect to receive more data than they transmit. Use of the World Wide Web, corporate intranets and the reception of digital audio-visual material generally fit this pattern.

For further information contact Neil Simpkin of actnow on 01209 722850 or Jason Mann of BT on 0845 726 2624.

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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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