For some years the Isles of Scilly had a basic up to 8 Mbps ADSL service that relied on a wireless backhaul link, but after the upgrades as part of the Superfast Cornwall project the islands can lay claim to being on the best connected archipelagos in the world.
"In percentage terms, the take up of high-speed fibre broadband on the isles of Scilly is already amongst the highest for any local authority area in the UK. This is an astonishing achievement when you consider the relatively short time – just six months - it has been available on Scilly.
Superfast broadband is providing a major boost for an area famed for its beauty and remoteness. This exciting technology is undoubtedly one of the most important investments undertaken this century for a community in a unique Atlantic location, which relies on its links with the outside world. Whatever the weather or the conditions, local businesses are able to rely on high-speed broadband to work more efficiently and find new customers, whilst households benefit from improved learning and entertainment opportunities.Ranulf Scarbrough, Superfast Cornwall programme director for BT
The current statistics for the Isles of Scilly show that in Q1/2015 the average download speed was 26.8 Mbps and with the news today that take up within the first six months of the FTTC services being available is running at around 1 in 3 premises, thus making a massive difference the 2,200 residents and businesses on the islands. On St Agnes 21 out of 24 premises have upgraded.
The degree of improvement is clear by looking at speed results, back in August 2014 download speeds at a variable 2.5 Mbps was considered good, jump forward to December 2014 and even though someone has not upgraded to VDSL2 yet, much better speed tests appear, with a steady 6.6 Mbps download. Now for those that have ordered a FTTC based service results of 75 Mbps down and 18 Mbps up are possible. Of course not everyone gets the fastest speeds and one of slower upgraded results is 17.5 down, 8 Mbps up.
The issue of take-up and where people are willing to actually upgrade rather than just say they will is something of a magic formula, and explains why take-up is so variable, but as video and music streaming services become more common we expect take-up to accelerate. 2016 is the tenth anniversary of when TalkTalk made its unbundling push that massively helped to drive take up of ADSL and ADSL2+ services. Now that coverage levels of fibre based services are at decent levels and increasing weekly and with prices that are lower than ever before we expect to see take-up rates increase and maybe in a few years look at turning of ADSL/ADSL2+ services.