Sure to invest millions to meet digital services demands
A MULTI-MILLION pound upgrade to Guernsey’s telecoms infrastructure – including its ‘unseen foundation’ – to meet growing demand for video streaming and digital business services has been unveiled.
The plans from Sure include a commitment to increasing broadband speeds through extending its fibre-rich approach and new innovations including trials for fibre directly to the home and 5G services, both of which will start in the coming months.
In what has been described as a ‘clear signal’ of Sure’s commitment to the island, the first phase will see an upgrade to the subsea cables that link Guernsey to the rest of the world and provide the majority of the island’s communications needs, including broadband, voice and data services.
This initial phase of activity will result in an almost 300% increase in the firm’s network capacity to 300 gigabits per second to meet the island’s bandwidth needs for the next five years.
Demand is increasing by 35% a year fuelled by video and gaming streaming services, while businesses’ digital transformation activities and increasing uptake of cloud technologies are driving demand for moving more data in and out of Guernsey.
This new network will also make it much easier to upgrade at increments of 100 gigabits – an increase of more than 10 times over the technology deployed today.
‘The importance of our subsea infrastructure really can’t be overstated,’ said Sure chief executive officer Ian Kelly. ‘Guernsey has been winning business on the world stage as a direct result of our network resilience and of course it keeps all of us connected in our daily lives.
‘It is the unseen foundation that enables and secures connectivity for businesses, in our homes and when mobile.
‘We’re carrying out this upgrade work, which is a significant multi-million pound investment, to reinforce the quality of the infrastructure and ensure that our network continues to be the most resilient in the Channel Islands.’
He added: ‘The digital future and this investment are aligned with the States of Guernsey’s
ambitious telecoms strategy as we work together to secure
the island’s continued prosperity and success.’
Sure’s subsea infrastructure consists of multiple cables that connect the island to the other Channel Islands, the UK and Europe. The network’s resilience is such that it can withstand two separate failures and still keep the island connected, as happened in 2017 when a cable was damaged by a ship which meant other telecoms operators were reliant on Sure’s network to carry all traffic.
Mr Kelly said Sure had an ambitious plan: ‘This is an exciting five-year investment programme which will significantly enhance residential broadband and business connectivity, and is a clear signal of Sure’s commitment to Guernsey.’
The telecoms company will be making more announcements in the coming months about its five-year investment plan and the implications for the digital future of the Bailiwick.