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Businesses in Deeside Enterprise Zone Complain of Slow BT Broadband

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 (8:51 am) - Score 863

Smaller businesses that have taken up residence at the Deeside Enterprise Zone in Flintshire (North West Wales, UK) have complained that they’re still only able to get superslow sub-2Mbps broadband download speeds from BT’s local infrastructure and some will leave if the situation isn’t corrected.

The issue is less of a problem for bigger firms in the area, which have the money to invest in an expensive Leased Line solution, but this sort of connectivity simply isn’t viable for smaller businesses that would otherwise struggle to pay the huge rental costs.

In any case the original idea behind the Government’s Enterprise Zone scheme was that they should be areas which benefit from better transport links, superfast broadband, tax breaks and simplified planning rules. Sadly the reality is not always quite so rosy, with smaller firms often being left to suffer significantly slower speeds than they can get at home.

Adam Butler, Owner of a Local Online Recruitment Business, said (BBC):

We came here a quickly growing business specifically to take more office space to employ more staff. We have 0.71Mbps download speed … We have to get other dongle wireless arrangements but it’s not ideal and it’s an obstacle to growth.

We’re on the Deeside industrial estate with some of the biggest global brands like Toyota, ConvaTec. The transport infrastructure’s here and broadband capability as part of the enterprise zone is promised as being world class and superfast.”

Meanwhile the Superfast Cymru project, which is working with BT to make “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) connectivity available to 96% of Wales by the end of 2016, is making “reasonable progress” (here) and its hoped than an extension deal may soon be announced that will further lift the existing targets. But in the meantime some of the zones smaller firms are considering a move to somewhere else.

On the flip side a spokesperson for the Welsh Government confirmed that work was on-going to improve connectivity in the zone, “Connah’s Quay, Hawarden Industrial Estate and Sealand exchanges [have already been] enabled and work to bring superfast broadband to the rest of the Enterprise Zone is continuing.” A new scheme is also being developed to boost business connectivity in related areas, although no details were given.

Last year the Welsh Government also announced an Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher scheme (here) that would provide assistance of up to £10,000 towards the capital costs of helping firms in Wales to install a broadband service with speeds of more than 100Mbps, which would only be applicable to businesses in Enterprise and Local Growth Zones.

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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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