Scilly’s New Broadband Cable Comes Ashore Today

The cable-laying ship CS Resolute off Peninnis yesterday. Photo by Robin Mawer.

The cable-laying ship CS Resolute off Peninnis yesterday. Photo by Robin Mawer.

The cable that will bring superfast broadband to Scilly is being brought ashore today.

A fibre optic cable that linked the UK to Santander in Spain, and which has been redundant for eight years, has been reused.

The estimated £3.7m cost of the work is being financed by the EU and BT as part of the £132m Superfast Cornwall Initiative.

Over the last week, the cable ship CS Resolute has cut the cable to the south of the islands and redirected a section to St Mary’s.

This lunchtime, the cable will be brought ashore with help from the Harbourmaster’s boat Pegasus.

When switched on later this year, the connection will bring faster internet access than is currently available using our microwave link to Cornwall.

All net users should notice much faster downloads of up to 80Mbps and less downtime.

But to get really fast speeds of up to 300Mbps you’ll need to pay for a fibre optic connection from one of the green junction boxes to your home or business. And that could cost around £1,000.

Originally two cables were proposed, to allow for redundancy. Cost issues mean there’ll be only one laid.

Council Chairman Amanda Martin says superfast broadband will create exciting opportunities for new and existing businesses.

The Council’s economic consultants Ash Futures have also recommended that the authority encourages internet entrepreneurs to the islands to make use of the faster connection.

But some islanders have turned to social media to question whether faster internet will make any difference in terms of job creation and economic development, when it is widely available elsewhere now.

What is certain is that islanders’ social media access, downloading of movies and TV programmes or Skype and Facetime web chats should be faster, less likely to interruption and more reliable, once the new cable is in use.

There will be restrictions in place on parts of Porthcressa beach today and tomorrow while the work is being carried out.

One Response to Scilly’s New Broadband Cable Comes Ashore Today

  1. Adam Morton July 23, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Great, but I wonder exactly what “exciting opportunities” this is supposed to bring? Yes we will get faster download speeds blah blah blah,but to download what? Of course it makes sense to use a redundant cable but I think its effects are being blown out of all proportion as a PR opportunity by the LA. This further shifts the focus of real issues by concocting a whole economic plan based on the supposed results of this project and ignoring longstanding issues such as transport which will still impact on the plans ability to deliver. At the end of the day some physical product has to be delivered and those beating the keyboards still need to live. Ignoring industries which provide the bulk of the freight & passenger transport will result in the cost of these rising considerably which will cancel out any advantage from the improved internet performance.