High speed broadband arrives at remote Isles of Scilly community
A complex project to provide broadband communications for
the remote island of St Martin's in the Isles of Scilly will
be completed this week.
The high-speed service due to 'go live' on Friday June 23rd,
has been made possible by the installation of a three-kilometre
radio link between St Martin's and the BT telephone exchange
on the main island of St Mary's.
St Martin's, which has a population of about 100 people,
is the fifth and final inhabited Scilly island to be upgraded
with the high speed service. Broadband became available at
the four other inhabited islands in July of last year.
The remote island is one of 20 communities in South West
England to benefit from a £1.3 million investment from
the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA),
which made the provision of broadband in these places economically
Fabian King, head of Regional ICT at the South West RDA,
said: "Now that St Martin's can access high
speed broadband, they have joined the connected community
in South West England and that is very good news for the economy.
The region now has every telephone exchange connected for
broadband. Everyone involved must be congratulated for their
efforts, which helped make this possible."
Lizzie Beesley, regional director for BT in the South West
of England, said: "Providing broadband for St Martin's
is another step forward in our continuing drive to make broadband
available for everybody who wants it. More than 99 per cent
of homes and businesses in South West England can now access
broadband and we are continuing to work with our partners
to find solutions for the relatively few people not yet able
to benefit. St Martin's required a particularly complex technical
solution. It was necessary to build a radio link between St
Mary's and St Martin's and to install on St Martin's some
of the broadband equipment, which would usually be sited in
the telephone exchange on St Mary's."
The project was welcomed by actnow, the
private and public sector partnership with investment from
Objective One and led by Cornwall Enterprise. Nigel Ashcroft,
project director, said: "There has been strong demand
for broadband from Isles of Scilly households and businesses
and we are already seeing a similar high level of interest
from people on St Martin's. Broadband is playing a vital role
in the future prosperity of communities. For businesses, it
is helping them become more competitive and efficient and
to access new markets."
Chris Savill, owner of St Martin's Campsite, on St Martin's,
said: "The arrival of broadband is very good news
for St. Martin's. The improved communications and internet
speed will truly benefit my campsite business and the rest
of the community on this remote island."
For further information please contact Jason Mann, of the
BT Press Office, on 0800 085 0660 or Pip Hatt, of the South
West RDA Press Office, on 01392 229567.
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in actnow through the European
Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural
Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Rural Broadband Access Project
A £1.3 million investment by the South West of England
Regional Development Agency has made it economically viable
to provide broadband at 20 South West communities. It has
included the upgrading of 19 exchanges at Brendon, Farway,
Manaton, Chillaton, Clayhanger, Filleigh, Widecombe in the
Moor, Drewsteignton, Postbridge, Lydford and Rackenford in
Devon; North Tamerton in Cornwall; Lydeard St Lawrence, Crowcombe
and Brompton Regis in Somerset; Wylye and Oxenwood in Wiltshire;
and Leighterton and Rodmarton in Gloucestershire. In addition,
a radio solution will be provided for St Martin's on the Isles
of Scilly on June 23.
South West of England Regional Development Agency
The South West of England Regional Development Agency was
established in 1999. Our most important role is to ensure
the long term economic success of the region, by promoting
the right skills among its workforce, the most innovative
businesses, and a high quality environment. www.southwestrda.org.uk.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439