On this island, there is no trace of agriculture, industrial fishing or factories. Except for some rare tourists, the financing of Ascension Island is exclusively and solely managed by famous institutions like the RAF, the U.S. Army, the B.B.C, Cable and Wireless, etc
Its aerodrome, the only in this sector, is currently not open to civil aviation. The island is chiefly retained for military activities and telecommunications.
The main institutions existing in Ascension Island are:
-Cable and Wireless, present in the island since 1898, was formerly known as "Eastern Telegraph Company" until 1934. Ascension was the major relay island of the submarine cable system installed between the United Kingdom and South Africa, with links in South America and West Africa. Today, this cable system does not function anymore; Cable and Wireless has propped up an international telecommunication service by satellite means. In addition, it operates an internal telephone service and looks after the proper functioning of "Ariane Earth Station" based on an agreement with the European Space Agency.
-In 1966, the B.B.C had established an Atlantic Relay to improve the coverage of short-waves broadcast towards Africa and South America. In 1997, B.B.C appointed Merlin Communications International as chief operator of its equipment on the island.
-The American Air Force operates the auxiliary aviation ground of Ascension (rented by the British Government in 1956), satellites’ observation post, GPS control center as well as other equipment. There are weekly flights between Ascension, Antigua and the military base of Patrick Air Force in Florida. Computer Sciences Raytheon (CSR), an American company, has been appointed by the American Government as a subcontractor for the control and operation of all the American equipment in the island.
-The Royal Air Force maintains the aerial link between the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands. The RAF also sub-contracts certain maintenance and operating jobs: Turner Ltd. looks after the proper maintenance of the RAF’s equipment; the airport is managed by SERCO Ltd. whilst Eurest Defence Services Ltd. provides the stock of supplies and the domestic equipment. The Maersk Company makes available a tanker, weighing 70’000 tons, which is permanently moored off Georgetown. It is used mainly as a fuel tank and gets its refueling done by other oil tankers.
-Composite Signals Organisation (CSO) operates on the island since 1966.
-ESA (European Spatial Agency) has constructed a control center for its Ariane rockets. In the past, a NASA station was also into existence on the island.
-AIS (Ascension Island Services) has been created in 1984 to provide and enable the operation of public utilities (school, medical services, public works, and harbour) on the island. On 1 April 2001, the Government of the island has resumed the provision of health services and education while AIS, now known as Ascension Island Works & Services Agency, is in charge of the public works and the harbour. The Government of St-Helena provides the personnel for the office of the Administrator, the post office, the savings bank and the transfers to the police station in Ascension.