Superfast broadband is to be delivered to the Isles of Scilly in what BT is calling a “pioneering” scheme – costing £3.7 million (€4.5m).
Unused fibre optic cables on the Atlantic sea bed will provide nearly 2,200 inhabitants with some of the “fastest broadband speeds in the UK”. BT said it was the most ambitious initiative of its kind ever to be undertaken in UK waters.
The project will divert superseded fibre optic cables, which have remained unused on the seabed for about three years, to all five of the inhabited islands located 28 miles off the south west of Cornwall.
Until now residents have had to make do with a broadband service provided by a radio link between Lands End and the Islands.
Nigel Ashcroft, programme director of Superfast Cornwall for the Cornwall Development Company, said it would be “truly life-changing for businesses on the isles… opening the door to doing business in more markets across the world”.
BT is expecting that the first Scilly customers will be connected during the first half of 2014.