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Two Puffins are First to Test Shetland Telecoms Fibre Optic Broadband Service

Monday, May 14th, 2012 (2:55 pm) - Score 1,011

Shetland Telecom, which was established by the Shetland Islands Council (SIC) to help deliver superfast broadband services across 90% of the remote Shetland Islands (North of Scotland, UK) by March 2016, has successfully connected its first “test customers” to the link in the form of two cute Puffins (Tammie and Norie).

Promote Shetland and RSPB Scotland are working together to stream live video from PuffinCam in Sumburgh Head, where Tammie and Norie are being kept busy by the arrival of a new Egg. Little do they know that their every move is now being broadcast around the world over the Islands new fibre optic link, Big Brother style (albeit with fewer irritating characters).

Today’s development is part of the wider SHEFA2 Interconnect Project, which connects Shetland Telecom’s local fibre optic infrastructure to the undersea SHEFA-2 cable that links the Faroe Islands with mainland Scotland (UK).

Marvin Smith, Shetland Telecom’s Project Manager, said:

We needed a test customer for the network and the puffins are ideal. The bird laid her egg an hour after being connected to our network which was fantastic and proves that productivity increases when you have a good internet connection.

Establishing the fibre optic network and the connection to London has been an ambitious project. We are delighted that it is now up and running and providing Shetland with the high quality connections it needs.”

Apparently copper based telecoms services have never been possible at Sumburgh Head. Hopefully the next customers to be connected will be real humans. Community broadband schemes already exist in Vidlin and Fetlar, while those of West Burrafirth, Quarff and Sandwick are now developing local action plans. Quasarnet is one such example.

UPDATE 3:14pm

It looks like “quite a few human” customers are technically already using the new fibre connectivity, albeit without realising. Marvin Smith let us know that the wireless (wifi) schemes in Vidlin and Fetlar are already experimenting with the fibre optic link to see how it holds up.

Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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