Goonhilly Not Down

Nigel Watson reports the decision to keep Cornwall’s telecommunications operation going after all.

In 2006 British Telecom announced that, from September this year, it would close its Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall and transfer all its operations to Madley in Herefordshire. The local community was devastated, not least by the threat to local employment.

Two years ago the station relayed television broadcasts, internet traffic, computer data, telex, fax and videoconferencing communications, as well as 10 million telephone calls a week. It was linked to satellites stationed over the Indian and Atlantic oceans. At its peak in 2004, sixty-four satellite dishes were in operation at Goonhilly.

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