23 January 2012

E-petition to connect St Helena launched in the UK

An e-petition to "provide high speed internet access to St Helena" has been launched in the United Kingdom today.

The e-petition addresses the British Department for International Development with the following words:
"This petition seeks funding for a change in route of the planned South Atlantic Express cable from South Africa to Brazil in order to provide high speed internet access to the British Overseas Territory of St Helena. Landing this cable at St Helena could close the digital divide, and significantly improve quality of living on the island through supplementing current provision of education, healthcare and better allow the island to reach the goals set by DfID of becoming self-sufficient."

If the e-petition finds at least 100,000 signatures from British citizens and UK residents it will likely be debated in the House of Commons.

Please support the people of St Helena by signing the e-petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/28049

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.