Minister for Communities and European Programmes, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon welcomed the arrival of superfast broadband to the Isles of Scilly today (21 November 2014) making the islands amongst some of the best connected islands in the world.
Isles of Scilly households, businesses and visitors now have access to broadband speeds up to 80 megabytes per second – 10 times faster than the previous maximum of up to 8 megabytes.
The new superfast broadband system will benefit not only the residents and businesses based in the Isles of Scilly but also tourists – who account for 85% of the Island’s income – who want to stay online and connected when they’re on holiday.
Superfast broadband has been brought to the area as part of the £132 million Superfast Cornwall initiative between the government, BT and Cornwall council, which plans to make fibre broadband available to 95% of homes and premises on Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014.
Speaking via video link from the launch event in Cornwall, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad said:
Bringing fibre optic broadband to the Isles of Scilly is another demonstration that Britain means business. No matter where in Britain you live and work, this government is committed to empowering you with the tools you need to connect and communicate in the 21st century.
Through accessing government funding and working in partnership with BT and Cornwall council we have made an investment in the future of the Isles of Scilly which will ensure that this community will continue to thrive for generations to come.
The Superfast Cornwall programme will be completed in 2015. It will bring fibre optic broadband to 95% of homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, with the remaining 5% enjoying faster broadband speeds thanks to alternative technologies, such as satellite communications.
The Superfast Cornwall programme is one of a number of government funded programmes in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to boost growth as part of the government’s long-term economic plan. Alongside the Superfast Cornwall funding, the Coastal Communities Fund, the Regional Growth Fund and Business Boost Programme contribute an additional £45.5 million to help create more jobs and back enterprise in the region.
For further information on the Superfast Cornwall programme visit www.superfastcornwall.org
The Superfast Cornwall programme is part-financed by the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Convergence European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the ERDF programme. The ERDF is one of the funds to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs.
The total investment in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through the Growth Fund programme is £24.6 million which includes investments in St Mary’s Airport, Redruth Flood Migration Works and Truro East Park and Ride.
The total investment in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through the Business Boost programme is £17 million. This fund benefits businesses of every size and type operating in every sector.
The Coastal Communities Fund investment in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly totals £3.9 million. This includes investments in social enterprise training in Porthleven, the development of the National Lobster Hatchery and building the South West Coastal Path.