The arrival of superfast broadband at the Royal Cornwall Showground is giving one of the Duchy’s leading venues a business boost.
The rural showground was one of many locations in the Wadebridge area recently connected to fibre optic broadband as part of the Superfast Cornwall programme.
Now the availability of high-speed wi-fi is expected to further increase the popularity of the venue’s Pavilion Centre, which already hosts 180 meetings, conferences, events, weddings and parties each year.
Superfast broadband also offers further opportunities for the rest of the showground site, which is the venue for a growing number of events, currently standing at over 80 annually including the Royal Cornwall Show.
Chris Riddle, secretary to the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, which runs the showground, said: “In the past, our broadband service has been slow at the best of times so our new connection is a vital improvement.
“We have a great venue, centrally located in a lovely rural setting. Now we can offer visitors the reliable, fast wi-fi they desperately require for their events. This will especially come in handy when the venue acts as the Members Pavilion for over 6,000 people during our annual Royal Cornwall Show.”
Nigel Ashcroft, programme director of Superfast Cornwall for Cornwall Development Company, which manages the Superfast Cornwall initiative, added: “It’s great to see the home of the Royal Cornwall Show, one of the biggest events each year, get connected to fibre broadband. It signifies that Cornwall is well on its way to having some of the best connected businesses and residents in the world.”
The Superfast Cornwall partnership between the European Union, BT and Cornwall Council expects to make fibre broadband available to 95% of Cornish homes and businesses by the end of 2014.
To date, the programme has made fibre broadband available to 200,000 homes and businesses – more than 75% of the county. Alternative technologies, such as satellite and advanced copper solutions, will be used to boost broadband speeds in locations where optical fibre is not viable.