The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
Communications, Islander aircraft over sea, Falkland Islands


The Falklands has a national, international, and mobile telephone service.  Satellite links provide a good connection enabling calls and texts with the world. Broadband is available in all settlements across the islands as is digital television.

There are good links to the ouside world, two weekly flights from the United Kingdom and two from South America which connect onwards to other countries.

Within the islands FIGAS (Falkland Islands Government Air Service) operates four Britten Norman Islander aircrafts which carry mail and can be booked to fly passengers and freight around the islands on demand.
Mainland islands settlements are linked with a road network and a cross sound ro-ro ferry, the MV Concordia Bay links East and West Falklands between New Haven on East Falklands and Port Howard on West Falklands.

There are taxi services within Stanley and a bus runs to Mount Pleasant Airport for international flights. Four wheel drive vehicles can be hired in Stanley.


Early Communications

Fires were commonly used in early days as distress signals, and to request doctors on islands. Once a fire had been seen by a shepherd on the mainland they could ride for help. They were used when someone wanted to go on to an island and was ready to be picked up from a point where a boat could be sent from the island to get them , or perhaps when mail was left in a letterbox ready to be picked up by islanders.

In 1813 Captain Charles Barnard, an American Sealer of the brig Narnia happened to be at Fox Bay sealing and noticed smoke arising from Eagle Island (Speedwell). He investigated to find and rescue the passengers (to his later cost), the wrecked Isabella.

Some early communications:

A sudden case of illness having occurred in his house, A V Lee, Port Purvis, West Falkland, being unable to go for assistance himself, wrote a note and having placed it in a match-box rolled it up in a white pocket-handkerchief and tied round the neck of an old dog. He then led the dog up the side of the hill on which his house is built and having given the dog two cracks of the whip let it go with the order ‘be off to Many Branch’. In two hours time the dog was observed with the other dogs at Many Branch, distant about an hour and a half’s ride from Port Purvis. The white handkerchief having been noticed the message was found and the necessary assistance was at once sent.

Before the days of radio a semaphore at Danson Harbour, North Arm could be seen from Speedwell settlement and it let folk on the island know when there was mail or stores to be collected by a boat.









Photographic credits: Header- Robert Maddocks
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