Although it may seem to have gone quiet for a while, we are in regular touch with Superfast Cornwall in order to understand how things are progressing with the latest ‘Fibre Broadband’ rollout plans across the Roseland.
As you may recall, the 2018-2020 part-EU funded Superfast Cornwall programme is now underway, and it includes sufficient funding to upgrade about half the remaining 16,000 slowest premises in Cornwall. Superfast Cornwall have published the list of ‘current’ postcodes where high level modelling shows which postcodes should be able to upgrade in this next rollout programme which can be found at www.superfastcornwall.org/future-programme.
The Roseland part of the rollout is scheduled for Phase 5 out of 8 phases, so the time is getting very near for things to start happening. In the next month Openreach surveyors will be out and about surveying across the Roseland until March 2019. In April 2019, we should have a really good understanding of where the upgrades are planned when Superfast Cornwall will come along to a community meeting to explain how and when this will be rolled out and to whom.
The ‘high level’ modelling has indicated an ‘initial’ list of postcodes that have been selected and where the Phase 5 surveying will be undertaken. However be assure that the surveyors will be aiming, where possible, to pick up as many extra premises that are not yet on this list which is hoped will reduce the number of premises beyond the reach of this programme. Superfast Cornwall is charged with delivering outputs for their funders (EU, UK Government and Cornwall Council) and in order to do this they need to cover the maximum number of premises with the available funding.
Whilst within this current funding round there will not be sufficient funds to enable a solution to be delivered everywhere in Cornwall and on the Roseland, there are a number of options available to communities and businesses not covered – see www.superfastcornwall.org/alternative-solutions and www.superfastcornwall.org/faqs. This includes an overview of grants which may be available and when, both from Central Government and Cornwall Council. These grants can be used to contribute towards the set-up costs of any viable technical solution capable of delivering superfast speeds, including 4G mobile, wireless and satellite. Grant funding is also available to contribute towards the costs of a ‘community’ fibre solution, for example through Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme at https://communityfibre.openreach.co.uk/.
It is important to note that this grant funding will only be available for properties on or near the postcode list and only after the surveys have been completed next April when it will be known exactly which residents and businesses are not included in the new rollout and not receive a fibre solution in this phase. Therefore once the surveying is complete in April it will then make sense for Roseland residents and businesses to investigate the grant options as it will then be clear who will be upgraded and who will need to look at an alternative solution and subsequent funding, which Superfast Cornwall will provide guidance on.