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Welsh ISP Exwavia Criticises Patchy UK Lobbying Effort for Better Broadband

Monday, May 28th, 2012 (1:06 pm) - Score 325

Welshpool-based ISP Exwavia (Wales) has today criticised the largely “un-co-ordinated” effort to lobby the UK government for better national broadband infrastructure and services, which has seen a slew of strong but ultimately “patchy” campaigns launch from various groups and ultimately fail to make much headway.

The ISP, which uses WiFi to deliver broadband internet access speeds of between 4-60Mbps (Megabits per second) into isolated parts of rural Wales, claims to be addressing the problem by, “talking to lobby groups, businesses, organisations and politicians about the state of broadband in a number of rural areas and its through this means that we believe we must work to get improvement.”

Annette Burgess, Managing Director of eXwavia, told ISPreview.co.uk:

More and more groups, organisations and media outlets are calling on the government to do much more to improve broadband provision in rural areas and yet there is no real co-ordination.

We’ve seen areas in places such as Cumbria be told that they will no longer get broadband because the ISP claims it’s uneconomic. That’s not good enough and if public money has been invested there should be a commitment to continuation of service to such rural areas.

Organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses, farming unions, CLA and others have mounted great campaigns to push for improvements to the broadband infrastructure in rural areas, but we must now work much more closely together to ensure the voices of residents and businesses in the countryside are heard and the government understands the strength of feeling for good, fast and reliable broadband.

The Welsh Government’s Broadband Support Scheme has been extended from the end of March which is good, but that will be limited and while BDUK money is earmarked for Wales and the rest of the UK, much more needs to be done to get the infrastructure in place. That can only be done with everyone working together.”

The call for greater coordination should be welcomed, although its arrival is perhaps a little on the late side and would thus be unlikely to have much of an impact upon pre-2015 government policy. Likewise eXwavia would need to focus on far more than “a number of rural areas” to make any real difference, lest it too risk becoming just another one of those “patchy” campaigns.

On the other hand there’s still plenty of opportunity to potentially influence post-2015 policy, which has yet to be decided and would probably depend somewhat upon who is in charge after the next general election in three years time. The question is, who would lead such a charge? Not the ISPA as some of their biggest members, such as BT, might well have conflicting goals.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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