BT offers new way of surfing in Cornwall

BT has announced plans to roll out super-fast broadband to 90 per cent of houses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The plan is to have the system up and running by 2014, with BT and the EU sharing the £132 million cost - with £78 million coming from BT.

Communications MP Ed Vaizey hinted that the scheme could provide a blueprint for future rural broadband infrastructures and stated that the UK had big aims for its broadband network:

"The government wants the UK to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, so today's announcement is a big step towards that goal", he said.

The EU got involved with the plan because it wants its member states to provide citizens with a minimum of 30Mbps broadband by 2020, with a 2Mbps "basic" minimum structure in place for all by 2013.

The BBC is reporting that the scheme uses a mix of FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) technology, which connects houses to high-speed cables, and the slower FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) technology, which uses copper cables to connect homes to BT's street cabinets.

BT has faced increasing pressure from its broadband rivals and other community-based broadband initiatives. In July, Pocket-lint reported how residents of Crumlin, Caerphilly were being treated to super-fast broadband via Virgin Media's fibre-optic cables that used existing electricity poles.

BT is reported to have committed £2.5 billion into its next-generation broadband plans, with an objective of reaching 70 per cent of UK homes.