Bad Weather Dampens Scilly’s Superfast Broadband Launch

undersea cable

A section of cable was presented to the Museum

Scilly’s undersea fibreoptic internet connection has been launched at a ceremony at The Mermaid.

But poor visibility on the islands and on the mainland this lunchtime has prevented the planned celebration of the completion of the £3.6m project.

The plane carrying BT Retail Chief Executive Gavin Patterson and Parliamentary Under Secretary for the Department for Communties and Local Government, Lord Tariq Ahmad, circled twice but was unable to land because of reduced visibility.

The irony of the special guests being unable to attend an event to highlight better links with the mainland wasn’t lost on locals.

It wasn’t possible to link up with the two expected VIP’s using a Skype connection, hooked up to a video screen either.

Instead, attendees watched a short video documenting the mammoth engineering effort required to lay the underwater connection from Cornwall to Scilly.

The Isles of Scilly Museum was presented with a section of the cable in a presentation case and a freestanding plaque was unveiled. That will eventually be placed at Porthcressa, where the cable first landed on the islands.

Lord Ahmad had been expected to visit some of the projects that have benefitted from grant funding, including St Mary’s Quay and the Porthcressa regeneration scheme. He was also set to view the newly resurfaced airport runway and terminal building.

He did get a glimpse of the tarmac but, sadly, that was through the low cloud.

More follows.

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