20 December 2012

Councillor tells Minister fibre optic cable is of vital importance to St Helena's development

Minister Mark Simmonds and Councillor Derek Thomas, © FCO / Flickr
During his attendance of the the Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council in London from 3 to 5 December St Helenian Councillor Derek Thomas has stressed the importance of continued bugetary aids and advocated for a spur from the South Atlantic Express cable for St Helena. In his report published today Councillor Thomas commented on his discussions with the UK Minister for the Overseas Territories, Mr Mark Simmonds:
"I stressed the importance of continued modes of funding to the Island, especially the EU funding which is valuable and essential in developing our infrastructure, if we are to encourage tourism, investors and the diaspora to the Island. I also explained to the Minister the importance of the proposed fibre optic cable coming out from South Africa with a spur for St Helena. Such a connection will be of vital importance in recognising the potential value to the development of the Island, if we are to ever achieve our future goal of being self sufficient."

The Overseas Territories Joint Ministerial Council, chaired by Minister Simmonds and attended by Premiers, Chief Ministers and other elected representatives from Britain’s Overseas Territories agreed priorities and plans for the UK and the Territories to work together on wide range of issues including strengthening economies and the environment.

For the full text, please visit http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/data/files/the_ots_jmc_35_dec_2012_report.pdf

High-speed broadband would be huge for education. Not only could we make better use of online materials, but with affordable broadband teachers could develop their practice from home.
I'm an IT engineer and I would love to return to my island to start an IT business, but because of the slow, expensive and unreliable internet connection this is simply impossible.
I had to leave St Helena to study. Being 5000 miles away from my family and friends is hard. Not being able to skype with them due to the slow and expensive internet on St Helena is even harder.
Socioeconomic status is now heavily reliant on broadband penetration. With the ever-growing importance of the internet, St Helena with its limited access is in danger of being left behind.