Lundy Island Embraces the Digital Age with High-Speed Internet
Lundy, an idyllic island nestled in the Bristol Channel between England and Wales, has taken a significant step into the digital era by gaining access to high-speed internet for the first time. This newfound connection, facilitated by a satellite link, marks a milestone for the island’s 28 permanent residents and numerous weekly visitors who can now bridge the gap with the outside world.
With its picturesque landscapes and abundant wildlife, Lundy has been praised for being “untouched by the modern world.” However, the lack of internet connectivity presented challenges for both residents and conservation efforts on the island. Now, with a small outdoor antenna system connecting to 630 satellites in space, Lundy’s inhabitants can enjoy fast and reliable connectivity.
The introduction of high-speed internet is particularly beneficial to Lundy’s community and conservation workers. Rosemary Ellis, the warden of Lundy Island, has already experienced the positive impact of this development. The internet has streamlined tasks that previously took hours, allowing her to focus more on surveying the island’s diverse wildlife and interact easily with researchers and students. The improved connection also gives her peace of mind, knowing that they can seek mainland medical advice through video calls when necessary.
The service will not only enhance the island’s communication capabilities but also facilitate card payments for visitors to the Marisco Tavern, the island’s sole pub, and the general stores. It will undoubtedly improve the overall visitor experience and support the island’s economic activities.
The partnership between BT Group, OneWeb, and DSIT has made this transformation possible. Greg McCall, chief networks officer at BT Group, hailed the project as a significant milestone for satellite communications, demonstrating their value in bringing connectivity to remote and hard-to-reach areas like Lundy.
Stephen Beynon, chief commercial officer at OneWeb, emphasized the importance of collaboration in delivering consistent and stable connectivity to rural communities. He expressed enthusiasm for working with the government and the telecoms industry to expand access to connectivity services globally.
With this leap into the digital age, Lundy Island preserves its natural charm while embracing the benefits of modern technology. As the island’s residents and visitors enjoy the newfound connectivity, this venture sets a precedent for similar efforts in other remote and secluded regions worldwide.