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January 3, 2013

St Helena island pleads for cash from UK for internet

The British Overseas Territory requires £10m to connect to a submarine cable.

By CBR Staff Writer

Island Community St Helena is again pleading for the UK to support the plans to bring the internet to the island, as residents currently depend on satellite connections to get online.

According to the BBC, the British Overseas Territory requires £10m to connect to a submarine cable, while the Foreign Office has said that ‘full economic assessment’ was required prior to funding any new link.

The UK, following in the footsteps of many other nations, has declined to sign a proposed UN treaty concerning wide-ranging alterations to internet governance at a conference held in Dubai in December 2012.

A clause that required states to assist in connecting remote communities will not be enforced now, doing away with any responsibility or commitment for the government to work with communities such as St Helena.

In an email, the Foreign Office said that the UK has no intention of signing up to the Treaty in the future."We will therefore not be bound by the provisions contained in the Treaty when it comes into force on 1 January 2015," the Foreign Office said.

A Human Right, a campaign group backed by the UN, has sought the Department for International Development to donate a considerable amount to the engineering costs of connecting the island to the South Atlantic Express, which is a new superfast fibre optic cable being laid by eFive.

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