01 December 2017

St Helena moves one step closer to securing funding for submarine cable from 11th European Development Fund (EDF)

press release by St Helena Government originally published here

SHG is pleased to announce that it has recently received confirmation from the European Commission that St Helena’s bid for funding from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF11) through a Budget Support Programme has passed the 2nd quality support group (QSG 2). This essentially has given the go ahead for St Helena’s programme amounting to €21.5 million to be formally submitted to the Commissioners for approval. This funding is intended to support the delivery of the Digital Strategy through the realisation of a Sub- Marine Cable to the Island with some funding earmarked for both Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Financial Secretary, Dax Richards, said:
“It’s great to have overcome this significant hurdle in the programme process to get access to EDF 11 funding, it’s been a long journey and there are still a number of hoops to jump through to finally receive funding for St Helena’s Digital Strategy. My thanks are extended to the SHG team and also to that of the Commission Officials who have been a tremendous support to St Helena through the programming process. We look forward to formal commission approval and the signing of the financing agreement over the coming months and making the cable project a reality for St Helena.”

SHG is grateful to the support of the European Union who recognises the significant benefits that improved connectivity will have on the community. These include improved health care services, better connectivity, economic and social development as well as addressing issues of isolation.

Assistant Chief Secretary (Performance), Paul McGinnety, said:
“Although there is still much to do, this is a significant step towards realising our strategic intention of delivering the Digital Strategy and the associated benefits. Our sincere thanks go out to our EU colleagues and indeed the EU itself who have been great supporters of St Helena over the years. With air access now in place, this will help reduce the Island’s isolation even further.”

© St Helena Government, 1 December 2017

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.