article totally misses the point
This article is pretty biased and totally misses the point in any regard.
1. The FCO simply stated that it did not sign the treaty and consequently would not implement resolution PLEN/1 which "invites" all ITU member states to assist landlocked developing countries and small island developing states to gain access to international fibre networks. "Assistance" does not necessarily mean financial support here and even if the treaty was signed this resolution would have been non-binding as it just "invites" ITU member states to assist.
2. Aids to the overseas territories do not fall in the responsibility of the FCO but in the Department for International Development's (DfID) which has since been stating that it will consider funding the cable landing if a full economic assessment indicates sufficient economic and social benefits for the island and costs for the project appear appropriate. This assessment has not been completed yet and so there is not final decision.
3. Recent meetings between the St Helena Government and the cable company indicate that there appears to be a feasible way to fund the cable landing.
So the plea has not sunk at all.
3. Estimated costs amount to $10-15m, not £10m. This figure has been provided directly by one of the competing cable suppliers. Since another supplier, TE Subcom, won the contract costs are likely to be on the lower end of that range now. Also the costs won't need to be fully funded by HMG as the St Helena Government and the island's telecom company will contribute to the costs.
4. While the article focusses on the costs for taxpayers it totally neglects the rationale behind the proposal which in fact is the potential relief the cable could bring to UK taxpayers as it will enable significant socioeconomic development and help render the island self-sufficient. Broadband internet would leverage efforts to establish a tourism sector on the island (something HMG is spending £250m on), diversify the tourism-focussed development plans by enabling an internet-based service sector and it could mitigate many other issues owed to St Helena's remote location. Just think of all the travel costs of sending patients for treatments abroad which can be reduced by telemedicine and how education could be improved by eLearning once students gain unlimited Internet access.
5. The airport's strategic relevance with regards to the Falklands is very limited. With a 1550m runway you can neither operate freighters nor tankers out of St Helena, at least not if they carry any load, and fighters can't make more than 6000km without aerial refueling either. Also the runway cannot be extended as there are steep cliffs at both ends. So there is no relevant military interest behind the airport.
As to some commentators' proposal of a satellite link: There is no coverage of any High Throughput Satellite in the middle of the South Atlantic and capacity on global beams is very expensive. The campaign's website mentions what a 150 MBit/s link through the new o3b satellite constellation would cost: £ 1.4m per year.