BT and the EU have teamed up for the biggest roll-out of fibre-optic cable the UK has ever seen. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will have super-fast broadband by 2014 as the UK moves towards connecting neglected rural areas to the Web.
BT and the European Union are splitting the £132m bill for the project. BT is putting up £78m, while the EU's European Regional Development Fund stumps up £53m. The project will be divided between next-generation fibre to the home (FTTH), and slower fibre to the cabinet (FTTC).
BT bigwig Ian Livingston announced the project while standing on Fistral Beach. Because it's a surfer's beach, d'y'see? You surf the waves in Cornwall, and now you can surf the Web too! Laugh? We nearly paid our phone bill.
The Cornish project could serve as a blueprint for reaching the 30 per cent of the country not currently figuring in plans for super-fast broadband -- or for those rural areas that don't receive broadband at all.
The news comes hard on the heels of a Virgin Media announcement that all cable-broadband customers will benefit from a free upload speed boost.