MOYLE SDLP councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed the recent BT announcement of a pilot “wireless to the cabinet” technology scheme on Rathlin Island which he says is the first deployment of its kind in the UK and Ireland.
The pilot will deliver high speed broadband to a number of premises on Rathlin from next month, with speeds of up to 80Mbps on the island for the first time.
Said the councillor:“Broadband speeds on Rathlin have been limited by the difficulty in providing a high speed link to the island.
“BT is deploying a newly developed radio solution linking the Ballycastle exchange with the Rathlin island exchange.
“This is then integrated into the next generation high speed fibre broadband architecture which provides a ‘fibre-like’ capacity directly to a street cabinet on Rathlin.”
Councillor Cunningham added: “The new technology will enable Islanders to enjoy similar fibre broadband speeds as those available to businesses and households across Northern Ireland.”
The initial pilot phase will be trialled by a number of premises on the island and will run for six months.
If successful, the solution has the potential to offer high speed fibre broadband capability to the majority of premises on Rathlin.
It is perhaps very appropriate that the new technology links are coming to Rathlin an island steeped in communications history as a place where the famous radio pioneer Marconi send messages across Rathlin Sound to and from Ballycastle on 6 July, 1898.
Marconi died in 1937.