Broadband demand in Cornwall
outstripping most rural areas in the UK
Cornwall's multi million pound actnow project
received a major boost today with the news that broadband
growth in Cornwall is outstripping most other rural areas
in the UK.
Research by BT, one of the partners in actnow, shows demand
in Cornwall for high speed broadband accelerating much more
quickly than the majority of similar locations elsewhere.
In just nine months, Cornish exchanges achieved market penetration
levels only achieved in 15 months by the average rural exchange
examined in the study.
The analysis - conducted by BTexact Technologies, BT's
world leading research and development laboratories at Adastral
Park, near Ipswich - studied two hundred and ninety one rural
exchanges across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,
of a similar size and type to the nine Cornish exchanges equipped
with ADSL broadband.
Nearly 3,000 Cornish businesses and households have ordered
broadband since the actnow private and public sector partnership
was launched nine months ago. Broadband orders in Cornwall
are currently being received at the rate of 90 a week.
Michael Dunn, West of England regional manager for BT, said:
"These results are particularly impressive when you bear
in mind that, without the involvement of the actnow partnership,
it would not have been commercially viable at this time to
equip most of these Cornish exchanges with broadband.
"The huge amount of work undertaken by the actnow partnership
has played a vital role in generating awareness within Cornwall
of the huge opportunities offered by broadband.
"It is a tribute to the actnow partnership and the people
and businesses of Cornwall that their broadband story is developing
so successfully with demand continuing to grow."
Nigel Ashcroft, project director for the actnow private and
public sector partnership, said: "Once again, Cornwall
is showing itself to be at the very forefront of broadband
developments in the UK and this is wonderful news because
the development of broadband is so important to the future
success of the Cornwall. It is already playing a major part
in helping Cornish firms find new markets and become more
competitive in an increasingly competitive marketplace."
The research findings come at a time of a further expansion
of the actnow project. The partnership confirmed earlier this
month that broadband would be available at four further exchanges
at Bude, Penryn, Saltash and St Ives by Monday February 3.
Of the nine Cornish exchanges already enabled, Truro was
equipped with ADSL in June 2001, St Austell, Redruth, Camborne,
Newquay and Penzance in April 2002 and Falmouth, Bodmin and
Launceston in September 2002.
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.
Further information can be obtained by calling actnow on 01209
722850 or visiting the website www.actnowcornwall.co.uk.
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, Business Link Devon and Cornwall, the South West
of England Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council
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.
The broadband research conducted by BTexact
Technologies, of Adastral Park, near Ipswich, examined 291
rural exchanges across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern
Ireland of a similar size and type to those in Cornwall involved
with the actnow project. It found that, following the launch
of actnow in April 2002, the Cornish exchanges achieved a
market penetration increase of 2.65 per cent in just nine
months. On average, the 291 UK exchanges examined took 15
months to achieve the same penetration level. For the purposes
of this survey, market penetration is deemed to be the number
of broadband orders expressed as a percentage of the total
number of households and businesses in an exchange area.
For further information contact Neil Simpkin of actnow on 01209 722850 or Jason Mann of BT on 0845 726 2624.
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
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