BT reveals superfast for Scilly

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BT has announced details of the most ambitious project ever undertaken in the UK to bring superfast broadband to a remote community.

Fibre optic cables, which have remained unused on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean for about three years, are to be diverted to the Isles of Scilly in a £3.7 million scheme to give the islanders the fastest broadband speeds.

Ranulf Scarbrough (l) and Nigel Ashcroft on the beach near Porthcurno where the cables come ashore
Nigel Ashcroft (l) and Ranulf Scarbrough on the beach near Porthcurno where the cables come ashore

It is expected that the first Isles of Scilly customers will be connected during the first half of 2014. A cable ship is due to spend about a month later this year cutting and moving two cables, which had previously been used for communications between the UK and Ireland and Spain.

Nigel Ashcroft, Superfast Cornwall programme director for Cornwall Development Company, said: “The project to deliver fibre optic broadband for the Isles of Scilly will be one of the most important steps forward for the islands for many years.

“We believe superfast broadband will fuel economic growth on the islands by helping existing firms become more efficient and enabling them to seize new market opportunities and by also sparking more start-up businesses.”

Ranulf Scarbrough, Superfast Cornwall programme director for BT, added: “BT engineers have devised a highly innovative and environmentally-friendly scheme to bring fibre broadband to the islands that is pioneering in every sense of the word. It is certainly the most ambitious initiative of its kind ever undertaken in UK waters and probably in Europe.”