Last updated: 29.09.11

Superfast broadband 'could encourage more e-learners'

Online learning courses could see an increase in students from remote areas of the UK as new superfast broadband is proving successful for even the smallest towns in the countryside.

BT began rolling out superfast broadband in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in 2010 and since then locals in the areas have adapted to the benefits and possibilities of quick and easy internet access.

In a statement, the telecommunications provider said that broadband is about helping businesses and creating new jobs as well as improving the quality of life for all, expanding horizons and opening new doors through online learning, flexible working and increased access to information and services.

The Superfast Cornwall programme by BT includes a strong focus on digital inclusion for all, bringing skills training for people of all ages and backgrounds.

In just a year since the people who live in some of the rural areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly received the high-quality broadband, there has been a huge difference made to local communities, businesses and schools. Over 1,500 homes have been fitted with an internet connection.

"The project has been making very good progress since it was announced," said Carolyn Rule, Cornwall Council cabinet member for economy and regeneration, speaking in 2010 when the broadband was first installed.

"It shows the power of the public and private sectors working together to help build a bright, strong future for us all."

BT admitted that bringing broadband to rural communities was a big challenge, but it added that the risk has paid off and that locals are reaping the benefits of having good connections to websites, such as learning portals and other means of communication.

Residents and businesses in the regions have said that improved broadband has "transformed" the way they do things.

The e-Learning Foundation said in March 2011 that pupils with computers and good internet connections are more likely to achieve higher grades in learning.