Your views on broadband: ‘Mum’s asked me to stop sending photos’ (updated Tuesday 27 March 2012)

Internet access on St Helena is extremely slow and few islanders can afford to pay Cable & Wireless £120 a month for unlimited access. The government is investigating connection to a new undersea cable. Read our latest story – then comment, below:

Firstly I would like to express my concerns about the lack of competition for internet/telephone usage on St Helena. I think it is appalling in this day and age that one company should have the monopoly of this said service. With fibre-optic cable being laid to St Helena I know that it will make internet and telephone usage better but will it be cheaper for the people of St Helena? It’s no good having this put in place and the locals still can’t afford to pay for it. Cable & Wireless offers internet and telephone service by satellite which should be cheaper knowing that their network is internal but laying cable to St Helena is a lot of miles and as far as I can see someone will have to pay for it in the long run!!! Personally I have a 20+ year old son, my mum and family on the island who I can’t speak to because of the prices, even sending a photo of my boys to my mum crashed her computer and takes all the megabytes, then she can’t access any more e-mails etc… so my mum asked me not send any more photos as she is only allowed certain amount of usage!! Also the children on the island are losing out on so much information via the internet. My boys live on the computer; gone are the days when you need books for school or information. The internet is so vast and St Helena really needs this for medical, education, business and communication!!

Allan Stroud, UK

I have family there [in St Helena] but they can’t afford what Cable & Wireless offers…£120.00 a month for limited access it’s disgusting. My sister has three young boys and one of them is my godson; she can’t afford the prices so I don’t get to hear from them or see photos of them. I can’t send photos as it uses their megabytes therefore restricting their usage of social networking as well. Children could learn so much from having internet usage at their finger tips especially living in such an isolated place, where we can’t even afford to visit but that’s another rip-off story concerning St Helena.

Natasha Stroud, UK

Broadband in St Helena is a MUST! Airport and broadband brings tourism, without broadband tourism will be limited, though I would hate to see typical British idiots abroad come to our beautiful island! Broadband would be a major step forward for our very primitive health system, and education! Please not ponder over this issue for many years wasting millions before it got under way like the airport project! British Goverment should be responsible for this! We are a very patriotic colony would not like to be recognized as a Third World country. Saints living abroad like myself are very limited to how often we can telephone our families due to ludicrus expensive phone charges, so forget the pen pushing and make a decision fast.

Sylvia Langham, UK
http://www.sthelenafriendsunited.co.uk

I am amazed that internet isnt a priority with the airport on the horizon. How will the airport operate with out proper communications. St Helena is looking for inward investment but this is not possible with out proper robust communications ie internet SHG can forget about inward investors if the internet dont improve. I think the UK government should help to pay for better broadband as part of the infrastructure improvement for the residents of St Helena. This is the last place on earth that a government gives the sole right to one company to provide a internet service. I think if SHG wants inward investment maybe another internet provider for the island of St Helena is good start.

– Johnny Clingham, UK
http://www.clickonsthelenaisland.com

St. Helena does not currently have a Broadband connection, by any currently acceptable definition.  It has an ADSL service that is called Broadband by its provider, but which – even in its most expensive form – is slower than the lowest speed considered anywhere else to constitute Broadband, and has severe capacity limitations. Burgh House Limited supports any project to introduce true broadband to St. Helena: please see our website at http://burghhouse.com/news.htm for our detailed views.

John Turner, St Helena

What does St Helena’s broadband situation mean to you? Is it just part of the price of living in a very remote place? Tell us your views:

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