Fibre Optic Cable For Fast Broadband Still An Option

Scilly's current broadband microwave link based at Telegraph

Scilly’s current broadband microwave link based at Telegraph

BT and the Council’s Economic Development team say there is still a plan to provide superfast broadband by laying a fibre optic cable to the mainland.

Council staff met with the team behind the Superfast Cornwall project last Friday. The £53m European funded scheme is being delivered by BT and has promised a significant enhancement of our islands’ broadband infrastructure.

Some reports have suggested that a fixed connection is no longer likely, but Diana Mompoloki from the Council and BT’s Jason Mann both say that an undersea cable remains the favoured option.

Jason says the Superfast Cornwall project team has also researched using satellite to feed our broadband network. But there are concerns that may be susceptible to delay issues, which could affect web cameras and Skype chatting.

Jason says discussions continue with the Crown Estate Commissioners over crossing their seabed with a cable. We understand that the Crown Estate wants a significant payment for cable access that could jeopardise laying a cable.

The current internet connection to the mainland for St Mary’s, Bryher and St Agnes subscribers is made by a microwave link in to the Telegraph exchange. It offers a lower capacity and speed than a physical link.

The connection rate falls with distance from the exchange and whilst Telegraph residents can achieve downloads of up to 6Mbps, that falls off steadily to around 1Mbps in parts of Hugh Town and on the off-islands.

A fibre optic cable could give us speeds of up to 100Mbps.

If a cable cannot be used, Jason Mann says a broadband regenerator could be employed.

This is a new technology that improves broadband performance where speeds are below 2Mbps. Speed improvements could be substantial and trials will determine what can be achieved in practice.



4 Responses to Fibre Optic Cable For Fast Broadband Still An Option

  1. Fran Grottick January 29, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Surely the Crown Estates should be helping the Islands?
    Why do they need a significant charge?

  2. local January 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

    what a slap in the face for common sense !

    so we can all have superfast broadband to do the online shopping but wont have a sodding boat to get it here !!

    the world has truly gone stark raving mad !

    new boat/improved boat , one or two lots of debates BUT what the islands need super fast is money like this spent on our infrastructure , quay extensions, quay improvements,more steps,bigger pontoons,all weather runways, better airport welcoming areas, better marketing the list goes on

  3. Alec hicks January 25, 2013 at 8:19 am

    53m is that the amount of money the new boat schem needed? I think most people could put up with there laptop working a bit slower and spend the money on the new ship, don’t think we will get both and I know what I would rather have,so will we have a string of computer wizz kids telling us all the benefits of super fast for getting people interested in Scilly, we need to get them to Scilly when they have booked for a Holliday

    • Adam Morton,St.Martins January 27, 2013 at 9:18 am

      I strongly agree Alec but I suspect as in most things we probably can only get funding for things we can manage without. Personaly I think a new vessel for the islands would be the best news/advert we could have.