BT's diverts fibre optic broadband to Isles of Scilly

Broadband speed

The Isles of Scilly will be connected to the internet with a high-speed fibre optic broadband service by the end of the year after BT announced it has started the fibre conversion process.

A 939 kilometre cable between Porthcurno, Cornwall, and Santander, Spain will be cut and diverted via the 12,184 tonne cable ship Resolute to the remote islands, despite the cable staying dormant under the sea for eight years.

The initiative will provide the 2,200 residents of the Isles of Scilly with superfast broadband reminiscent of those achievable on the mainland. It is part of the 132 million project between the European Regional Development Fund, BT and Cornwall Council to bring superfast broadband to 95 per cent of homes and businesses in Cornwall.

Amanda Martin, chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: "Superfast Broadband will create exciting opportunities for new and existing businesses. Its installation will also help our islands become more economically viable and provide benefits for future generations."

Previously, the cable was used for handling high-speed international communications, but it was decommissioned in 2006 after 11 years of use.

Jeremy Steventon-Barnes, Superfast Cornwall operations director for BT, added: "Bringing superfast broadband to the Isles of Scilly is an immensely challenging project for a wide range of engineering and environmental reasons, and a big team from across BT is working with our public sector partners to make it happen. The fact that we have been able to make use of an existing cable makes a great deal of sense from an environmental and cost point of view."

The project was announced in 2013, with BT saying it was the company's 'most ambitious project yet.'

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.