Council To Push Upgrade Of Broadband Service

Council Chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

The Council is to write a letter to the management committee that administers the European Regional Development Fund to emphasise the importance of upgrading the islands’ broadband connection.

The ERDF has invested £53m in the ‘Superfast Cornwall’ project, which is being delivered by BT and has promised a significant enhancement of our islands’ broadband infrastructure.

However, when and how this will be delivered is still unclear.

At yesterday Planning Meeting, the Council’s Diana Mompoloki told members that BT are looking at various options, including a new fibre optic cable connection to the mainland.

She says this would give us speeds of up to 100Mbps, but the main issue is the cost that Crown Estates wants to charge for laying the cable across the seabed.

She says if that isn’t possible, there’ll still be an enhancement, which should be at least 40Mbps.

But she was disturbed by length of time it’s taking to get a decision to move it forward.

Cllr Dudley Mumford said an enhanced broadband service was essential for the islands, not least for the planned expansion of the hospital’s teleconsultation programme, which allows doctors on the mainland to talk to patients on the islands, doing away with the need to travel.

Cllr Mike Hicks admitted we struggle with broadband speeds and said originally we were going to be one of the first places to be upgraded. He said BT needed a ‘slap across the wrist.”

But Cllr Pearson felt he had a better way of getting higher speeds from his broadband connection. He said he had a new computer and “it wasn’t full of rubbish” and felt the general public needed advice on “how to manage the spam.”

He said people want to use their computers to do things like downloading games and watching TV and felt this was “getting in the way of business.”

But he did concede that future development of the broadband service should be encouraged on behalf of the children of the islands.

Cllr Richard McCarthy said he was worried that BT were dragging their feet on this and are not as interested in fibre optics for the islands as they were. He said the ‘shadow boxing’ between Crown Estates and BT needs to be sorted.

Diana said the Superfast Cornwall Programme needed to be completed by the end of 2013 in order to access the EU funding, and she said we didn’t want to ‘fall off the list’ because they’d run out of time.


5 Responses to Council To Push Upgrade Of Broadband Service

  1. Ted November 24, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    We’re crying out for fibre-optic broadband here. It’s the single biggest issue we face, the speed of on-line gaming, and more rapid music downloads. Can we please send a letter to Mr BT and ask him to do this?

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this Internet magic will help our cutting edge local business sector. Honestly, theyre all just being held up by this darn slow broadband we have, missing out on millions in online trade probably.

    Cllr McCarthy demands super fast broadband, dammit we have human rights.

  2. Bloody Stupid Johnson AKA Steve Sims November 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    I would just like to point out that Cllr David P seems to be putting the cart before the horse. Surely it is the business users who are causing bottle necks for those of us watching iPlayer or downloading games. There must still be a few old Telex machines out there they can dust off.

    For the sake of the children.

    Incidentally the link this time is for “This Pullover” by Jess Conrad, arguably one of the worst singles of all time.

  3. Sue M November 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    The super fast cornwall project, with BT as the lead partner, were only able to access the money because they included Scilly in the original bid. They’ve also referred to increasing speeds “across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly” in all their publications.

    They’re going to look pretty stupid if they don’t deliver something here, and could potentially be in breach of their funding agreement.

  4. MyNameDoesntMatter November 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I’m sure BT have bigger fish to fry besides a couple of thousand people on a small group of islands with the odd person(s) crying out for faster speeds. I doubt we are near the top of their ‘to do list’ and they were probably playing the right notes at the time that people wanted to hear to keep them quiet for a while.

  5. Lawrence Upton November 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Now why do I think that Cllr Pearson knows little of computers; though congratulations on his new purchase?

    Is he suggesting that he can get Scilly up to 40 Mps by stopping people downloading games? As for spam – that’s a different issue entirely; it’s also a business, of course

    The problem is BT and the willingness of govt and EU to let them run projects without agreeing deadlines and penalties. I suppose that’s just red tape getting in the way of business.

    It’s not that BT plans to go slowly; it’s that they have no concept of going speedily. Push them for a promise and they’ll give it, comforted by their departments full of people ready to explain why it all went wrong.