Manx Telecom: supporting blockchain business

28 October 2020

As the Island’s leading telecoms company, it’s perhaps not surprising that Manx Telecom has been instrumental in a number of “firsts” when it comes to the development of blockchain in the Isle of Man.

As well as providing a hosting solution for Quanta, the world’s first fully licensed blockchain lottery, Manx Telecom also took part in a proof of concept trial with Minima earlier this year which saw the successful exchange of tokens through a decentralised blockchain protocol over mobile phones.

This type of alternative transaction will be key to unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things and enabling the smooth running of networked devices without creating bottlenecks around payments and billing.

For account director Gareth Hooson-Owen, these kinds of innovative projects are proof both of Manx Telecom’s own capacity to support blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, and to the Isle of Man’s welcoming approach to businesses in this sector.

“As a jurisdiction, the Isle of Man can deliver the technical infrastructure and business support better than any other location,” he says.  “When you take our on and off Island connectivity into account, along with our data centre capability, hosting solutions and the fact we have a very reliable source of power, there’s no better place to do business.”

Another big plus for the Island is data storage and sovereignty, an increasingly important factor for global technology-based businesses. “Manx Telecom has two-wholly owned twin tier data centres, that offer exceptional resilience with 24/7 manned support 365 days of the year,” says Gareth. “For businesses concerned about data location and critical systems security, it’s very reassuring to know that there is always a back-up and that we have delivered 100% data centre availability for over 10 years.”

Security in general also has a big part to play in the Isle of Man offer. Adam Funnell, an independent business consultant who has helped several blockchain and technology businesses search for the right location, points to the stable political environment and family friendly atmosphere as key attractions in addition to the technical expertise. “These aspects stand out when you look at the Isle of Man compared with other jurisdictions.  People realise that this is somewhere you would not only be happy to bring a business but your family as well, there are good schools and a good standard of housing, for example.

“Another asset is the accessibility of key people, both in Government from a policy and regulatory perspective, and those offering supporting professional services. Being able to talk face-to-face with professionals such as Digital Isle of Man and Manx Telecom, who really understand the potential of blockchain, makes life so much easier. Plus the Island is only a hop away from London, the UK and worldwide connections.”

While current border restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the Isle of Man have meant there is currently a temporary suspension to visits by non-residents, blockchain and technology businesses looking to relocate or use Manx partners are still able to explore opportunities in a virtual way.

“As a telecoms business, we have extensive video-conferencing facilities and we are very happy to host virtual meetings and facilitate online introductions with all the relevant parties,” says Gareth.

“We are also conscious that the pandemic has changed the way that people might choose to work in future, with remote access becoming more important. In response to this we are bringing forward further investment in our broadband network, as well as accelerating the existing roll-out of ultrafast fibre broadband services.

“Already we have given access to fibre to more than 30% of homes and business premises on the Island, and as the Government’s chosen provider to implement the Isle of Man’s National Broadband Plan, we are working together to ensure that over 99% of premises have access within the next four years.

“This is all part of future-proofing the Island to take advantage of evolving technology and securing our reputation as a forward-thinking and robust, business-friendly jurisdiction.”

To talk about Manx Telecom’s hosting solutions, data storage and other services, call Gareth Hooson-Owen on 07624 222007