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Guernsey’s Hidden Networks

18th March 2019

Found in: Blog  -  

A guest post from Adrian Bott, Head of Managed Services Guernsey and eGaming Business Development, C5 Alliance

As you fly over Guernsey, you are treated to an aerial view of a patchwork of fields, roads and buildings, fringed with sandy beaches and steep cliffs; you can’t fail to observe what a remote location it is. However, since the growth of the finance sector in in the 1970s, Guernsey’s remote position has remained purely geographical, as the island has become invisibly connected to the world. The telephone cables which once carried calls and faxes to London, New York and across the globe, now transmit data- the lifeblood of any business.

Access to reliable communications, telephones and mobiles is probably a “tick in the box” for anyone thinking of re-locating here. However, most new residents are unaware of the depth and quality of the infrastructure that underpins the retail services we take for granted, such as 4G and broadband. The historic demands of the finance sector combined with the progressive government attitude to a competitive private sector has allowed things to develop at a pace. This has all happened with local IT specialists developing their skills in data, security and communications paired with bringing in the best practices from around the world.

But when you look at the infrastructure in more detail, there are further aspects of the technology on-island that may not be obvious to the naked eye. As you walk along the seafront you will see the names of the international finance and legal businesses that call Guernsey their home. They demand state-of-the-art conferencing facilities or access to data hosted anywhere in the world.

But there are also hidden networks – where technology and expertise live in the background. Take the remarkable growth of the regulated eGaming sector. The regulatory framework which emerged 17 years ago from Alderney, the Bailiwick’s most northern Island, has attracted world-class operators who are consistently impressed by the high quality of local business support services and the calibre of locally-grown talent.

So what is a “hidden network”? Several secure Data Centres in Guernsey have hosted key infrastructure for businesses that are household names in online entertainment for years.   At first look you may consider this type of business to be quite different from the familiar bank or trust company, but from the perspective of an IT partner they are on the same spectrum. Security, uptime, instant global reach, insight into data: we see the same challenges for the bank and the gaming platform.

Ask a gaming operator what the bottom-line effect of a minute’s downtime is or how they manage real-time transactions and he can answer immediately with hard numbers. Guernsey’s ability to meet this challenge benefits all the other sectors on the island– whether it’s finance, blockchain or cyber security. So if you are re-locating and want to explore the opportunities on the island that are beneath the radar, then talk to the IT companies as they are often working behind the scenes.

Get in touch with Adrian at Adrian.Bott@c5alliance.com

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