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Farmers and Landowners Launch Survey of Broadband in Wales

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021 (9:22 am) - Score 552
farming rural broadband mobile and cows

A large group of farming and landowners’ organisations have launched a new survey to examine the current state of broadband connectivity in Wales. The survey is partly designed to help them understand how well-equipped rural communities are for forthcoming farming regulations, which require vast amounts of online forms.

The survey is being backed by NFU Cymru, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW), the Wales Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (YFC), the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and also the National Federation of Women’s Institutes – Wales.

Suffice to say that all farmers, and anyone with an interest in broadband connectivity in Wales, are being asked to help complete the survey to help “inform our next steps and communications with stakeholders“. The survey itself will run until 12th December 2021 and those without internet access can also grab a paper coper at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair on Monday 29th and Thursday 30th November.

Joint Survey Statement (Farmers Weekly)

“Our last survey revealed that less than 50% of those who lived in rural areas had standard broadband and only 36% had superfast broadband, with 66% stating that they or their household had been affected by poor broadband.

In comparison, 18% of their urban counterparts said they had access to standard broadband and 67% had superfast broadband. As a group we are now keen to learn how well equipped the rural community is to deal with upcoming changes to farming regulations that will require them to complete vast amounts of paperwork online.”

According to Ofcom’s latest data from May 2021 (here), some 94% of premises in Wales can access a “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) capable connection and that rises to 97% for 10Mbps+ (USO territory), but this falls to 40% for “ultrafast speeds” (300Mbps+) and 30% for gigabit (1000Mbps+) services. Meanwhile, 93% of premises (outdoor) have access to 4G mobile services from all operators.

However, the picture continues to improve thanks to various state aid supported deployments, such as the Welsh Government’s FTTP focused broadband contract with Openreach (BT), voucher schemes and the £1bn Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme, which is busy expanding 4G mobile coverage. In the near future, the new £5bn Project Gigabit programme may also help to tackle the connectivity gaps.

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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Meadmod says:

    Should this be necessary?
    When ordering broadband you now get a speed estimate and OR know what the line sync speeds are. We also know that many VDSL lines are underperforming and I have witnessed in Wales where Superfast was just about available at the top road but by the time it reach the farm on historic buried cable it was barely 10Mbps.

    Surely all that should be required is a comparison of members addresses against data already available to the industry. It is also replicable for monitoring progress.

    Alternatively if they want to highlight actual performance (may indicate a CPE issue) then why doesn’t Ofcom sponsor a Windows/Mac/IOS/Android app that they can use or come to an agreement with say Ookla, TBB or similar to gather the additional data.

    Perhaps Ofcom don’t want the answer.

    1. GARYH says:

      An official speed test, no way do they want to see the results from that, it would remove all the wriggle room and put cold hard data on the table.

      I mentioned this when R100 was dragging along years back with all the consultations and reviews to see how many connections were going to be in plan etc. Demand the providers encourage their customers to carry out a speed test and for The Gov to promote the scheme.

      ‘Help us, to help you get a better connection,R100 Speed test’ Hmm I wonder why not.

  2. GARYH says:

    That statements a little odd isn’t it ?
    Our last survey revealed that less than 50% of those who lived in rural areas had standard broadband

    So how many have what exactly ? With a statement like that 49% could be on FTTP, 1% on ‘standard’ with the other 36% mentioned on superfast.

  3. 5G_Infinity says:

    Mark, based on work I have been doing with WG and North Wales over the last 12 months, the Ofcom data is wildly optimistic and hence there are different programs either in progress or to be kicked to address the challenges. Reliance on OR has proved to be less than successful, eg rural areas with 10 to 15% white area properties, ie less than 24Mbps and then grey and black areas in single digit%.

  4. The Facts says:

    Look at ThinkBroadband speed maps.

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