Innovation Centre Opening Delayed By Internet Connection
In yesterday’s Council meeting, members heard that contractor Bo Green finished the £1.5m project to transform the 1966-built wholesalers site back in July.
But there’s been a delay in opening the workspaces because of a broadband issue.
It’s not the problem that blighted the Authority’s former premises on the industrial estate last year.
In April 2014, Council Chairman Amanda Martin said that low flying Skybus planes were disrupting Wi-Fi and computers at the old Home Hardware Unit.
This time Senior Officer Diana Mompoloki, says BT is to blame for the delay.
She told councillors that it had taken 16 weeks to get the centre connected and that the Council couldn’t legally move in without internet because their fire alarm system requires Wi-Fi.
Cllr Richard McCarthy said that the wait means that Scilly has “superfast broadband but superslow connections.”
BT has confirmed that the lines to the centre are working and they apologise for any delay but their spokesman Jason Mann added that a substantial amount of engineering work was required, including the installation of about 80 metres of underground cabling.
The Innovation Centre project has recently been described as “pointless” and “a white elephant” by locals on social media. Some islanders have said they’d rather it remained a retail site, which could be used by a supermarket.
In her report table yesterday, Mrs Mompoloki wrote that “there is a risk that the community will already have a negative perception of the centre” but she hopes that a public viewing event will mitigate that.
Diana also cautioned that there is a potential risk to the Council if the occupancy levels are low, meaning insufficient income to cover costs, but she adds that she is “confident that this will not be the case.”
One tenant has signed up already.