Businesses and homes on the Lizard Peninsula, already famous for its links with past communication giants Marconi and Telstar, now have access to the technology of the future thanks to the roll out of superfast fibre optic broadband.
The area is the latest to benefit from the £132 million Superfast Cornwall partnership, with around 700 businesses and homes on The Lizard and the neighbouring villages of Cadgwith and Ruan Minor now having access to the high-speed technology.
James and Donna Glosby, landlords of the Top House Inn, which is Britain's most southerly inn, were among the first to upgrade. Donna said: “We're super excited to get superfast broadband. Being located in the most southerly village, we are exposed to the elements and at times we have struggled to get any connection at all.
“It's going to be a huge benefit to be able to offer a stable and fast wi-fi connection for our customers as we see so many who come in because we offer it for free. Superfast may give us the edge over our competitors and tempt new customers to give us a try. It will also help us and our customers find information more quickly online. And ordering supplies online should now be much quicker.”
Superfast Cornwall, a partnership between the European Union, BT and Cornwall Council, aims to roll out faster broadband across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014.
Since the programme started in 2011, fibre-optic broadband has become available to more than 45 per cent of Cornish businesses and homes, and over 17,000 customers have already been connected.
Residents interested in connecting to superfast broadband can find out if the new service is available in their area by checking their line at www.superfastcornwall.org/line-checker.
Ranulf Scarbrough, BT's Superfast Cornwall programme director, said: “The arrival of superfast broadband opens another exciting chapter in the story of an iconic location already famous for its links with Marconi and Telstar. Some of the most exciting experiments of modern times have taken place on The Lizard, such as Marconi's first live transatlantic radio message and the first live transatlantic television pictures via the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station. Now we are seeing a new communications technology introduced, which also has the ability to transform the lives of people and businesses. Take-up of fibre optic broadband at The Lizard is very encouraging with 15 happy customers already connected and a further 46 orders to be completed.”
The Superfast Cornwall partnership says it expects to make fibre optic broadband available to at least 80 per cent of premises in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014. Alternative technologies, such as satellite and advanced copper solutions, will be used to boost broadband speeds in locations where optical fibre is not currently viable.
Up to £53.5 million of the funding is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence Programme, the largest ever single European investment in broadband infrastructure, whilst BT is investing up to £78.5 million.