Ynys Enlli, an island associated with legends and myths, has been thrust into the 21st century with installation of the latest digital technology.
Gwynedd Council and Menter Môn have collaborated on a project to connect this remote island off the Llyn Peninsula to the mainland. This will enable residents, including a local farmer and the wardens to access superfast broadband despite being nearly 2 miles out to sea.
The technology also allows the deployment of ‘Internet of Things’, which include sensors to monitor electricity levels generated by solar panels as well as water stored in tanks. This data will give residents more control over resources we take for granted on the mainland.
Visitors are brought to Bardsey Island by Colin Evans, who says the connection has vastly improved business function.
‘Before, I had to operate from the mainland as there was no signal on Bardsey. Now I can run my boating business from the island’. He also explained how a broadband connection was a crucial step in resurrecting the island, not in modernising it but in restoring the old community which once lived there.
The island is owned and managed by the Bardsey Island Trust, who employ two wardens. Having access to broadband is extremely valuable as they live on the island for extended periods.
One of the wardens, Mari Huws, explained ‘Having a reliable connection is essential for the residents as it makes living here so much easier, and by restricting access to the residents only it helps preserve the magic of Bardsey’.
She also explained how sensors are being used to help preserve the history of the island. Humidity is monitored in ‘Carreg’ house, which helps maintain murals crated by published artist Brenda Chamberlain, who lived on the island for 15 years.
Menter Môn are thankful to have been given the opportunity to work with Welsh Government and Cyngor Gwynedd through the RDP programme and hope to complete more broadband projects in the future.