Harbourside villages of Portscatho and Gerrans benefit from fibre broadband roll-out
560 homes and businesses able to order fibre optic broadband
“Roseland Online” works with Superfast Cornwall to achieve positive outcome for Peninsula
June 10, 2013 – The Roseland Peninsula is celebrating the arrival of superfast fibre optic broadband, following the announcement that around 560 homes and businesses in the harbourside villages of Portscatho and Gerrans are now able to connect to the new, faster service.
As one of the most rural and poorly served parts of Cornwall, the Roseland has traditionally been a “notspot”, with little or no access to acceptable broadband speeds. Residents in parts of the Portscatho and Gerrans area are now able to order fibre optic broadband with downstream speeds of up to 80 Mbps (megabits per second).
In the wider community, the news is a foretaste of further broadband coverage to come, with planning having already commenced to bring fibre optic broadband to around 1,500 premises in the neighbouring St Mawes and Veryan exchange areas. The first homes and businesses in these areas are expected to be able to connect later this year, while parts of Tregony, commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the Roseland”, have already been enabled, with over 250 premises able to order the service.
News of the enablement at Portscatho and Gerrans has been greeted with delight by local residents, with strong levels of take-up already being reported among residents and the business community.
Mark Hatwood runs the Harbour Gallery, situated in the heart of Portscatho, and was one of the first to order fibre broadband following the announcement. Mark said: “Since the Superfast Cornwall programme began, I have looked forward to faster broadband becoming available here in Portscatho. Superfast broadband offers so many opportunities for both my own and other local businesses to develop into new areas, and I am looking forward to being able to reach out to new customers and continue developing the services I can offer from right here in the heart of the Roseland.”
Mark Hatwood also runs an online community, Roseland Online, which reaches out to residents across south central Cornwall and throughout the world. Superfast Cornwall has worked closely with Roseland Online over the past year to gauge levels of local interest in faster broadband and to ensure that the local population was kept informed regarding build progress.
Nigel Ashcroft MBE, Superfast Cornwall programme director for Cornwall Development Company, said: “From the outset, Roseland Online showed a genuine interest to work with Superfast Cornwall to achieve a positive result and the outcome is a testament to that constructive partnership. By keeping residents informed through meetings, newsletters and its website, and promoting the local need to Superfast Cornwall in a constructive way, Roseland Online has achieved those positive outcomes, and I am thrilled that we are now able to announce the first coverage of fibre broadband on the Roseland Peninsula.”
Ranulf Scarbrough, BT’s programme director for Superfast Cornwall, said: “This announcement represents a huge transformation for the telecommunications network on the Roseland Peninsula. Using cutting edge technologies and a new fibre cable crossing at the King Harry Ferry, we are aiming to deliver a new fibre optic broadband infrastructure which will benefit hundreds more homes and businesses on the Roseland by the time the rollout completes in 2014.”
Julian German, Cornwall Councillor for the Roseland, and portfolio holder for economy and culture, said: “I am well aware of the great number of Roseland businesses that would benefit from the superfast broadband rollout in this area, and am delighted that over 550 businesses and homes in Portscatho and Gerrans are now able to order this service.
“Many residents work from home, some for large global corporations, meaning that decent broadband connections are of paramount importance. One such works for an international cloud computing company; the announcement that he can now order fibre optic broadband means that he can continue working from his base on the Roseland. I look forward to further parts of the Roseland being enabled as the fibre broadband roll-out continues.”
The £132 million1 Superfast Cornwall partnership between the European Union, BT and Cornwall aims to make the high speed technology available to 95 per cent of premises in Cornwall.
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.
To see if you can place an order, visit www.superfastcornwall.org.
1 The exact amount is dependent on demand for fibre broadband from local businesses and could be lower than £132 million.
Notes to editors:
About the Convergence Programme
The Superfast Cornwall programme is part financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Convergence European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.gov.uk/browse/business/funding-debt/european-regional-development-funding
ERDF Convergence investment: Up to £53.5 million
BT Investment: Up to £78.5 million
TOTAL: Up to £132 million
For more information visit www.erdfconvergence.org.uk
About Cornwall Development Company
Cornwall Development Company Ltd is the arms length economic development company for Cornwall Council. Further information is available at www.cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk
About Roseland Online
Roseland Online was started in 2009 by Mark David Hatwood and his friend Martin. With no dedicated online community magazine for the Roseland at that time, Mark felt the Roseland Peninsula was in need of a platform that would: inform the locals of what was happening in their area in an easily accessible online platform – with the speed of instant updates; help promote Roseland businesses; and help promote the area’s outstanding credentials worldwide through the internet in an unbiased way.
As a not-for-profit enterprise, Roseland Online has grown steadily to become a much-used community resource and in 2011 expanded to cover all 15 parishes of South Central Cornwall, including Cuby, Gerrans, Grampound with Creed, Ladock, Mevagissey, Philleigh, Probus Ruan Lannihorne, St Ewe, St Gorran, St Just in Roseland, St Michael Caerhays, St Michael Penkevil, Tregony and Veryan.
Its steady growth over the past 4 years means it now regularly enjoys up to 30,000 hits and 1450 unique visitors per day. Because of this success, in 2013 Roseland Online re-launched with a new-look magazine format. This improved navigation and interactivity has helped prepare it for the future and made it even more accessible to everyone, both locally and worldwide.
Roseland Online has a growing team of volunteers including 10 feature writers, local sub editors and a host of contributors. It also reinvests its profits back into the community, helping local sports teams and community groups.
It’s founder editor-in-chief, Mark David Hatwood, has also used Roseland Online’s platform to spearhead many community initiatives, working with companies like BT to oversee the roll out of Superfast Broadband for the Roseland and, as its Chairman, helped ‘The Hub’ radio for South Central Cornwall obtain a lucrative Ofcom license.
Roseland Online offers all 15 Parish Councils free pages for their unabridged Parish Minutes and Agendas, helping to get information out to those who otherwise can’t make meetings, and its Facebook and Twitter feeds keep everyone up to date with any new developments on the website on an hourly basis.
We are always open for new ideas and suggestions. So if you would like to join Roseland Online’s growing team, helping it to give more to the residents and businesses of South Central Cornwall, Mark would welcome your contact. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org