There can't be many broadband rollouts where the perils of shipwrecks dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are a concern, but that's the reality facing BT.
Earlier this week the firm announced a £4m plan to use an undersea cable lying dormant in the English Channel to bring superfast broadband to the Isles of Scilly, a remote archipelago lying 28 miles off the South West of England.
The project will mean that for the first time, the residents of the five islands of St Mary's, Tresco, St Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes, whose combined population numbers just over 2,000, will be able to access fibre broadband services. Until now, they've been stuck with a radio link.
Clearly, the remoteness of the Isles of Scilly meant the rollout of services to the islands would prove challenging for BT, but the ability to use the dormant undersea cable is a massive bonus for the firm.
"Normally the cost of laying cable is very expensive if you only do it over a relatively short distance, like 28 miles to the islands," explained Ranulf Scarbrough, the director of the Cornwall Superfast Broadband Programme at BT, in an interview with V3.
"However, there are two cables that go from Land's End out into the English Channel that used to go to Ireland and Spain but these have been replaced by newer connections. This means we can reuse them to run fibre from Land's End down to the islands."
This will require a cable laying ship to bring up the cable, done using a remote controlled submarine, and then adding the new fibre, before hooking it to the exchange on the island, and into the network on the mainland.
While the cable laying ship is likely to begin its work in the autumn, BT will also be putting down cables between the five islands and to premises on the islands, although this poses a unique set of challenges, as Scarbrough explains.
"The islands are a very challenging environment and not just because of their remote location," he said.
"There are lots of historic buildings and burials grounds, shipwrecks and sites of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) we have to factor in."
With some 530 shipwrecks dating back as far as the 1300s and 24 SSSIs on the islands this is no easy task.
"The council are helping us work through these issues but I think it's fair to say this is one of the most challenging rollouts, not just that BT Openreach have done, but that's been done anywhere in the world," adds Scarbrough.
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