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Wales to Prioritise Superfast Broadband in the Powys Local Growth Zone

Thursday, Nov 8th, 2012 (10:07 am) - Score 2,195

The Welsh Government (WG) has announced that its £425m Next Generation Broadband Wales project will prioritise faster internet connectivity to the Powys Local Growth Zone (PLGZ), albeit only after the country’s seven Enterprise Zones have received similar treatment.

The PLGZ was first mooted in February 2011 and is intended to be an alternative model to Enterprise Zones. The latter of which is typically focused on predominantly urban areas “of the highest need” and is designed to boost growth by imposing simplified planning rules, access to superfast broadband ISP connections and tax breaks within the related area.

By contrast the PLGZ applies a similar set of benefits to support jobs and economic growth in small towns and rural communities.

The Four PLGZ Selected Areas

* The Severn Valley (Welshpool / Newtown / Llanidloes)
* Rhayader / Llandrindod Wells / Builth Wells
* Brecon / Bronllys / Talgarth
* Ystradgynlais

Areas inside the PLGZ can expect to receive “high-speed broadband” and WiFi services, not to mention “consistent mobile phone coverage” (3G / 4G services) and a range of other economic and or physical infrastructure benefits.

Welsh Business Minister, Edwina Hart, said, “the pilot project [in Llandrindod] is vitally important, as it will give us a valuable insight into what we can achieve in our rural market towns“. Apparently officials will factor this new PLGZ priority into the “detailed planning process” and will be working with BT to provide “fibre broadband” to these areas as soon as possible.

The Digital Wales Strategy envisages a roll-out of 30Mbps+ capable superfast broadband ISP services to reach 100% of the country’s businesses by the middle of 2016 and homes by 2020, although BT plans to make related FTTC and FTTP services available to 96% of Welsh homes and businesses by the end of 2015.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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