Crown Estates Could Delay Superfast Broadband To Scilly

Scilly’s current broadband microwave link based at Telegraph

There’s still no clear timeline on when Scilly will get superfast broadband.

The Local Enterprise Partnership, the joint Scilly and Cornwall economic development group, say there’s an issue with plans for an undersea cable crossing Crown Estate land.

The LEP’s online webcast, which was used to launch the group’s new strategy and was watched by 300 people across Cornwall and Scilly, featured a video interview with Churchtown Farm’s Zoe Julian, explaining how faster internet would help her on-line business grow.

The £132m upgrade programme has already increased internet speed through much of Cornwall, but Scilly remains one of a handful of exchanges with no planned upgrade date.

Originally there had been plans to connect the islands to the mainland with fibre optic cabling, but LEP Chairman Chris Pomfret says that’s proving more of a challenge now.

Chris said he understands the issue with the cable lies with the Crown Estates and they’re planning a meeting with them ‘in the not too distant future.’

But he told us Crown Estates can be a “dark pit that not many people understand” and it was difficult to predict what the outcome would be.

Chris says he understands how critical superfast broadband is for many businesses here on the islands, including Zoe’s internet flower delivery service.

He said they also need to look at more robust microwave systems as a potential alternative and says Scilly is no different from the area where he lives on the Lizard, which is still around two years away from being upgraded.