BT has announced plans for a £3.7m project to get the Isles of Scilly online with superfast broadband as part of its £132m contract to roll out services to the region and Cornwall.
The rollout will take advantage of a currently unused undersea cable to take service to the remote islands. A cable ship will cut and move the two cables that were previously used for links between the UK, Ireland and Spain, when the projects commences later this year.
It is set to come online during the first half of 2014. Currently the 2,220 residents on the five islands have to rely on radio link to the mainland at Lands' End.
"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," said Ranulf Scarbrough, Superfast Cornwall programme director for BT.
"It is certainly the most ambitious initiative of its kind ever undertaken in UK waters and probably in Europe."
The plan was welcomed by councillor Mike Hicks, chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, who said it would help boost the islands without impacting its unique natural qualities.
"Faster broadband will underpin our tourist trade, will help our farmers and growers and will promote distance learning," he said.
"New business opportunities will be stimulated on the Islands, encouraging local productivity and enhancing our quality of life."
Late last year V3 visited Cornwall to see the project rollout in action by BT, learning how businesses and local residents were benefitting from the services coming online at much higher speeds than were previously possible.
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