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Cable Ship “Resolute” Brings Fibre Optic Broadband to the Isles of Scilly

Wednesday, Jul 23rd, 2014 (12:58 pm) - Score 1,319

The £132m Superfast Cornwall project has announced that the cable ship called ‘Resolute’ will today complete the first major phase of a £3.7m effort to divert two unused submarine fibre optic cables to the Isles of Scilly (the cables had previously been used for communications between the UK, Ireland and Spain).

At present around 2,200 residents of the small Island chain get their broadband capacity via an inferior Microwave (radio / wireless) link, which connects to a transmitter at Lands End on the western coast of Cornwall. But under the new plan, which was first announced by BT last year (here), they should soon be able to gain superfast broadband access (FTTC/P).

Superfast Cornwall Update – Isles of Scilly

The 939 kilometre cable between Porthcurno, Cornwall, and Santander, Spain, has remained unused on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean since it was taken out of service in 2006 after 11 years of handling high-speed international communications. The 12,184 tonne cable ship Resolute has cut the cable at two points in the Atlantic – about 100 kilometres and 15 kilometres off Lands End – and diverted a section to the Isles of Scilly.

On Wednesday July 23, the 140 metre-long ship will be stationed off Porthcressa Beach on the main island, St Mary’s, whilst the cable is pulled ashore and linked to the local network on Scilly. It is expected that the islanders will be able to order high-speed fibre broadband before the end of the year.

Locals will no doubt be very pleased by the development and rightly so since the £3.7 million spend works out at around £1,682 per head (not property). Meanwhile it’s possible to track the cable ships progress by going here.

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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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