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Cornwall continues to have the largest deployment of ultrafast 330Mb capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology in the United Kingdom, with the announcement that the service now available to 85,000 homes.

The news has come as part of the Superfast Cornwall scheme, which has managed to push BT's “fibre broadband” (FTTP/C) network out to 95% of the region.

However, a new Broadband Delivery UK contract signed last week could edge that number towards 99% by early 2018.

The £7.6 million contract includes a £1.23 million investment from BT, as well as a £2.96 million cash injection from the government's Superfast Extension programme.

When the Superfast Cornwall project was first formed, it was touted as being a prime example of what could be delivered by Openreach when the original BDUK contracts were made available.

According to ISPreview, many of BT's Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband deployments tend to be dominated by slower and less reliable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), which can deliver speeds up to 80Mbps.

Those projects used existing copper cables between street cabinets and homes, making them significantly cheaper and faster to deploy.

In contrast, FTTP often uses pure fibre optic cable all the way to a property, meaning it tends to be avoided for cost reasons.   

Yet the project in Cornwall has proved an exception, with this latest project set up before the signing of any BDUK contract, meaning it was jointly-funded by £78.5 million from BT and up to £53.5 million from Europe.

Despite BT's heavy involvement, it still has not managed to solve the problem of a lack of support among consumer service providers.

Even its own retail division has made it hard to find certain BTInfinity packages without specific availability checks.



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