BT has said it will be launching a new £132 million project aimed at bringing broadband to the "vast majority of businesses" in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by 2014.

The project, it is claimed, will also protect 2,000 jobs and create another 4,000 jobs in the areas concerned.

By 2014 it is hoped that 80-90 per cent of local businesses and homes will have access to super-fast fibre broadband.

BT will be working with Cornwall Council and the European Regional Development Fund, which is contributing £53.5 million to the project. The remaining £78.5 million of funding comes from BT.

Alec Robertson, Leader of Cornwall Council, said, "Local businesses will be given an all important head start through early access to world class communications and this will dramatically increase their competitiveness. The high speeds on offer will attract new business investment into Cornwall, creating thousands of new job opportunities."

Ian Livingston, Chief Executive of BT, commented, "This is a very significant project that once again positions Cornwall as a broadband leader. It will make the county one of the best connected areas in the world and provide a major boost to its prosperity.

"This partnership shows what can be achieved when people work with BT. The 'final third' of the UK is undoubtedly challenging to reach with fibre but this project shows it is possible. Our door remains open to others who are keen to work with us to bring fibre broadband to their areas."

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communications said, "This project is very exciting news for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It shows how the public and private sectors can work together to deliver local solutions to local problems. Households and businesses in this largely rural area can now look forward to having one of the best broadband connections in the world, thanks to Cornwall Council's vision, European funding and BT's investment and expertise. The Government wants the UK to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, so today's announcement is a big step towards that goal".