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Homes and businesses on the Isles of Scilly are set to gain access to super-fast broadband, it has been announced.

Unused fibre optic cables on the Atlantic seabed are to be diverted to the island archipelago as part of the £132 million Super-fast Cornwall initiative, reports the Western Morning News.

At present, the 2,200 people living in the Duchy rely on a broadband service delivered via radio link from Lands' End.

But from 2014, residents on all five inhabited islands should be able to take advantage of super-fast broadband services.

Nigel Ashcroft, Super-fast Cornwall Programme Director for Cornwall Development Company, said the project to deliver fibre broadband for the Isles of Scilly "will be one of the most important steps forward for the islands for many years".

"It will be truly life-changing for businesses on the isles, enabling them to be better connected to existing customers and colleagues and opening the door to doing business in more markets across the world," he stated.

"We believe super-fast broadband will fuel economic growth on the islands by helping existing firms become more efficient and enabling them to seize new market opportunities and by also sparking more start-up businesses."

Ranulf Scarbrough, Super-fast Cornwall Programme Director for BT, noted that his firm's engineers have devised "a highly innovative and environmentally-friendly scheme" to bring fibre broadband to the islands.

"It is certainly the most ambitious initiative of its kind ever undertaken in UK waters and probably in Europe," he added.

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