saex map Remote island pleads for internet access

A remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean has pleaded with the UK government to provide funding for it to connect to the internet via a submarine cable.

A remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean has pleaded with the UK government to provide funding for it to connect to the internet via a submarine cable.

 
The island of St. Helena, a British Overseas Territory, lies in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and South America, many miles away from the coast, leaving it effectively isolated from the rest of the world.
 
There are 4,200 people living on the island, and they are hoping to finally get access to the internet, blaming the blackout for hindering the island's growth. Some of the population can access the internet via satellite, but the costs are extremely high at over £100 per month.
 
The solution would involve rerouting the already planned South Atlantic Express, an underwater fibre-optic cable that will connect Brazil to Angola and South Africa.
 
saex map Remote island pleads for internet access
 
Some of St. Helena's hopes rested on the proposed revised UN treaty that was rejected by the US, UK and many other Western nations. Under the proposals the UK would have been forced to connect remote territories like St. Helena to the internet, but Russia's suggestions for changes in internet governance and internet taxes did not go down well.
 
The UK Foreign Office said it needed to conduct a full economic assessment before it could fund a project to bring St. Helena online. The cost is expected to be £10 million, according to campaigners, which is not all that much in the grand scheme of times, but the UK government may have a difficult time justifying the expense for the relatively small population involved.
 
St. Helena is not being entirely forgotten, however. The UK government is investing £250 million to build a new airport there, which should encourage tourists to visit the hard-to-reach locale. However, it could be argued that if more St. Helenians could go online, they could advertise the island and make that airport investment more worthwhile.
 
Source: BBC
Image Credit: A Human Right