Two puffins have been used to test the speed and reliability of Shetland’s new high speed broadband link.
Images of Tammie and Norie, the subjects of the RSPB PuffinCam at Sumburgh Head which streams live footage of the birds, were relayed via the Shetland Telecom fibre optic link.
Shetland Telecom was set up by Shetland Islands Council in 2011 to improve the isles’ links to the world through the Faroese SHEFA2 fibre optic cable. The infrastructure is enabling Shetland to take advantage of much faster and more resilient broadband connections.
Shetland Telecom project manager Marvin Smith said: “We needed a test customer for the network and the puffins are ideal. The bird laid her egg an hour after being connected to our network which was fantastic and proves that productivity increases when you have a good internet connection!”
Andy Steven of Promote Shetland said: “Copper based services have never been possible at Sumburgh Head. This new network allows us to develop PuffinCam to a new level.”
Shetland Telecom plans further networks to assist remote communities throughout the isles to get better broadband. Community broadband schemes already exist in Vidlin and Fetlar. The communities of West Burrafirth, Quarff and Sandwick are now developing local action plans.
Mr Smith added: “Establishing the fibre optic network and the connection to London has been an ambitious project. We are delighted that it is now up and running and providing Shetland with the high quality connections it needs.”