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Scilly Isles to benefit from fibre link and better broadband
Wednesday 06 March 2013 17:40:51 by Andrew Ferguson

The Superfast Cornwall project has arrived at an innovative solution that will bring fibre backhaul to the Scilly Isles without the need for a totally new link between the mainland and the islands. Two existing fibre optic cables that are laying on the seabed and are redundant after the links between UK, Ireland and Spain were moved to different cables will now be diverted to provide a reliable backhaul link and render the existing wireless backhaul redundant.

"We are delighted that a solution has been found to give our islands the best broadband access. The Isles of Scilly's communications with the UK mainland and beyond are a key part of creating a better, more prosperous future for islanders and will allow this vibrant community to take full advantage of its unique location. Faster broadband will underpin our tourist trade, will help our farmers and growers and will promote distance learning. New business opportunities will be stimulated on the Islands, encouraging local productivity and enhancing our quality of life."

Cllr Mike Hicks, chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly have a population of around 2,200 and currently only have access to an up to 8 Mbps service. The £3.7 million project via Superfast Cornwall should mean that residents and businesses on the five main islands will have access to a mixture of FTTC and FTTP. The roll-out is at the early stages, but securing the undersea link is a vital first step that should hopefully see the first new connections going live in the first half of 2014.


Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
So BT will spend near £4 million to get fibre to 2,200 people.

St Helena (middle of the South Atlantic) needs £10 million to get fibre for its 4,000 residents. Seems rather reasonable, by comparison!
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago
Could have sworn the EU was putting up about half the money for this...
Posted by MCM999 over 4 years ago
Now if only the Government would help those on long EO lines in cities such as London. No BDUK or EU funding and no interest or funding from inner London local authorities. As for superfast connected city funding, this seems to be being diverted elsewhere.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
Well done Cornwall and the Crown Estate. BT's matched funding, and cost transparency on this will be a joy to behold.

It is good to see and no surprise that much of the fibre was in place.

@MCM99 - accorinding to Ofcom their is no market failure. BT and Virgin objecting to Birmingham attempting an alternative. EU and Cities willing but BT want it on their terms only.
Posted by akwilliams over 4 years ago
Read this earlier, and having been born and brought up on the Islands, its going to quite a revolution.

Existing telecoms is via microwave between St Marys and Lands End, and its not always the most reliable of solutions. Its been known for services to drop for hours on end.

Might only be for 2,200 people but considering most people on mainland UK have seen a steady increase in broadband speeds over the past 5 years or so, limtations of the MW link has kept us pretty much in the dark ages with almost no advances in the same amount of time.
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Makes perfect sense, no point in rolling out FTTC and FTTH and then having a microwave bottleneck for thousands of people
Posted by chilting over 4 years ago
So BT will spend £4 million to get fibre to a population of 2,200 people that are situated 28 miles out into the Atlantic.

But they cannot provide 3,300 people in West Chiltington, situated in the middle of West Sussex, with a decent broadband service.

Am I missing something here?
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
Yes you are, the overall picture and funding for that whole area.

Its a not a good comparison, you might as well ask why does York have FTTP but I can only get 2Mbps on my ADSL line
Posted by chilting over 4 years ago
The question I ask is why I can only get 1.25Mpbs per line. I have to spend £60+ per month with two lines bonded to get a "usable" service.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@Chilting - Superfast Cornwall have arranged EU funding for this link. It is unclear exactly what BT will contribute. It would be interesting to see what 'match' means in this example. It is great to see it happening and superfast Cornwall should be congratulated.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@ValueforMoney - It's very clear.

'Funded by the EU, BT and Cornwall Council, and managed by Cornwall Development Company, Superfast Cornwall is an ambitious £132 million programme'.

'Up to £53.5 million of the funding for Superfast Cornwall is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence programme, the largest ever single European investment in broadband infrastructure, with BT investing up to £78.5 million.'
Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
chilting, what answer are you after, do you want BT/EU to divert some of the funding to you?

There are many people in your situation I'm not sure what is has to do with superfast cornwall?
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@chilting - 'We anticipate awarding a contract in the summer to the preferred bidder, whose first course of action will be to begin the geographical survey work necessary to plan how to build the necessary telecommunications infrastructure.'
Posted by ValueforMoney over 4 years ago
@Sommerset - Funding 'Up to' is not clear. It's great its happening, but given BT will win all BDUK contracts you need the corrcet levels of transparency. 'Up to' investment is not transparent. If it transpires BT is investing its cash on this particular link, then's lets salute them properly.
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
@VfM = Cash from various sources goes into the programme which then spends the money. What's not to understand.
Posted by chilting over 4 years ago
I have absolutely no problem with The Isles of Scilly getting their upgraded broadband service.

My issue is with BT who sold our local exchange to a property developer and moved us into the Storrington exchange. Storrington is just getting fibre.

I also have issues with West Sussex CC who seem to be about a year behind Surrey CC in activating their BDUK contact.
Posted by LeftoutAgain over 3 years ago
Been waiting 4 years to see if we can have fibre superfast Broadband .What a waste of time .Scilly isles with " only 8 meg download speed " get superfast on mainland in Cornwall with less than 1 meg download speed nothing .Thanks very much .This dosn't seem fair to me and with Cornwall only having a 30,000 take up from 200,000 connections what a waste of money I DESPERATELY WANT SUPERFAST FIBRE BROADBAND !!!! And cant have it .RUBBISH
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