High-speed broadband plans surprise Herm

HIGH-SPEED fibre broadband is set to come to one of the smallest islands in the Bailiwick.

Herm chief executive Craig Senior said the island had not been consulted about high-speed fibre broadband plans, and has recently spent £35,000 to have its current broadband upgraded. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29990464)
Herm chief executive Craig Senior said the island had not been consulted about high-speed fibre broadband plans, and has recently spent £35,000 to have its current broadband upgraded. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29990464)

But the news came as a surprise to Herm chief executive Craig Senior, who had not been consulted about it when he heard the news yesterday.

This week it was announced that within five years a £37.5m. project would roll-out high speed fibre broadband to every property in Guernsey.

Sure is set to undertake the work, with the States offering a capped investment of up to £12.5m. to support the project.

It was confirmed by the States of Guernsey that Herm would be included in the plans.

When Sure was asked about Herm it issued a statement that the planned fibre roll-out will cover the island of Guernsey, subject to approval by the States of Guernsey.

‘Sure would welcome a discussion with any of the stakeholders of the other islands in the Bailiwick about rolling out fibre on those islands,’ a spokesman said.

Herm Island recently paid £35,000 out of its own budget to have its internet speeds upgraded, but have now blind-sided with the news that they will be included in the £37.5m. plans.

‘We’ve wasted £35,000 – I was never consulted through the States, there has been no dialogue.

‘I am disappointed, but not surprised,’ said Mr Senior.

‘Keeping the community onside is important – we aren’t onside.

‘I’m very frustrated,’ he said.

Herm holds an unusual place in the Bailiwick.

Inhabited by about 60 people, it is owned by Guernsey and open to the public, but it is leased to John and Julia Singer.

The island has no government, unlike Sark and Alderney, and Herm people vote in Guernsey elections.

Before island-wide voting inhabitants would vote in the St Peter Port South district.

Sure released a statement yesterday, in consultation with the States.

‘Herm has been included by Sure and the States of Guernsey as part of the initial planning process,' it said.

‘However, further detailed appraisal needs to be undertaken, including consultation with the leaseholder on any plans they may have.

‘This work is of course subject to support for the policy letter by the States Assembly.’

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