The Council's Cabinet has just voted to approve the bid for Next Generation Broadband for Cornwall. This could bring internet speeds of up to 100mb for domestic use and up to 1gb for businesses.
That's fantastic news and builds on the first generation broadband project led by the Lib Dems on Cornwall Council. And, what's more, the work will start in East Cornwall.
The entire project will cost well over £100m and will rely in the main on convergence funding - ie support from the EU - but there will be £1 million of Cornwall Council money. I believe that this will be money well spent as it will be a significant investment in the businesses, home workers, residents and tourists in Cornwall.
Most of the broadband will be provided by fibre-optic cable, but for the most remote areas it will be by satellite. We are assured that no oart of Cornwall or the Isle of Scilly - however remote - will miss out. I'm not sure that Cabinet Member Carolyn Rule was right to suggest that Cornwall will be leading the world (I seem to remember reading that South Korea already has 100mb broadband as standard), but a bit of hyperbole is fair enough in these circumstances.
Just to avoid confusion, customers will still have to pay for broadband as they do now. It's just that the infrastructure will be there to enable very high speed services. However, worries that customers will be tied to just one provider - the company which does all the installation - have been allayed, but we will keep tabs to make sure that there is fair and competitive pricing.