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GBP900k to Help Rural Homes in Powys Get Full Fibre Broadband UPDATE

Thursday, December 30th, 2021 (8:49 am) - Score 1,464
rural countryside broadband uk isp

The Welsh Government’s £10m Local Broadband Fund has allocated £900,000 from its budget to help build a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to serve 13 “hard to reach properties” in Powys as part of its Phase Two deployment, with incidental benefits provided to an additional 139 properties across the county.

At present, the local government has not yet confirmed exactly which locations will benefit from the additional funding or what ISP will take responsibility for the work, although we assume this may well depend upon the outcome of a future procurement exercise.

Powys County Council’s Leader, Rosemarie Harris, said: “The news that we have been successful in this bid for funding is really positive and will make a massive difference to residents in six different communities across our vast rural county. We can now prove that while these properties are ‘hard to reach’, they are not ‘impossible to reach’ if the right support is available. I look forward to us engaging with and supporting more rural communities within Powys as we aim to deliver improved internet connectivity to as many residents and businesses as possible.”

UPDATE 31st Dec 2021

Homes in Llanfair Caereinion, Meifod, Newbridge on Wye, Llanbister Road, Erwood and Grwyne Fawr have been named as the six communities to benefit from this.

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28 Responses
  1. Lee says:

    £70k per property? is this good news?

    1. NE555 says:

      For the property owners, definitely. I guess they had the right connections (of the other sort).

    2. Aled says:

      No idea. This is my backyard and I’m really not sure what they’re hinting at.

      My guess is there is a part of Powys with no FTTP whatsoever, where they are running a pilot project. I would not be surprised to find there is a council property in the middle of nowhere, where they will offer fibre nodes along the route to any proprties within a reasonable distance.

      “The connection will be fibre to premises, which will use fibre run from the exchange direct to the hard to reach properties. The fibre will be split along the route at junctions such as fibre nodes where it will be run to the properties.”

      “It is part of a £10 million fund, which was set up to help local authorities and social enterprises in Wales address connectivity issues in their communities”

    3. Alex A says:

      Hopefully thr 900k figure has come from some stretching of figures and they aren’t actually spending 70k per property, while rural should have good internet access fixed wireless access should be considered.

      Remember the 900k is tax payers money.

    4. GaryH says:

      @AlexA, Sure its taxpayers money and those with nothing resent the hundreds of millions the rest of you have been enjoying the benefits of for close to a decade.

      900k seems a lot sure, but its a long way from 5 Billion if you’re not wanting to spend tax revenue on Internet.

    5. Alex A says:

      @GaryH I don’t have a problem with tax payers money being spent, 70k per property just seems a lot to me. Fixed Wireless Access (such as the Ubiquiti WISP stuff) can still deliver very high speeds and would be a lot cheaper (assuming it isn’t too hilly). I admit it doesn’t compare to FTTP with speeds and future proofing but it would be a much better spend of money IMO.

  2. Aled says:

    Asking locally, this is rumoured to be related to the ongoing build @ Llanafan Fawr and Llanwrthwl, by Broadway partners.

    If you are vaguely aware of the area, it is between Rhayader and Builth Wells, and having driven through it countless times, fits the type of hilly remote geography where FTTP commercial case would be “challenging”, with estimated speeds of 1 meg downloads.

  3. NoName says:

    I live in a rural home in powys that is unable to access anything near superfast speeds. I’m betting this money isn’t coming my way though, would be interesting to know where it is going.

    1. Aled says:

      Have you considered 4G WiFi? If you share your postcode, I’ll check your coverage (or just experiment with a phone on different networks).

    2. NoName says:

      Hi, dropped my useless adsl connection for 4g last year. Speeds aren’t really any better and is more temperamental. I used to be on an exchange line but all surrounding properties got connected to a fttc cabinet years ago, this property just got passed by in last upgrade. County Times article suggests local area is one that is getting this funding but I’m still not hopeful it will include my home.

    3. NE555 says:

      If you’re on an EO line then that improves the chance that you’ll get FTTP, because otherwise they won’t be able to shut down the local exchange.

      The other thing you can do is to fill in this form to contact Openreach:
      https://www.openreach.com/forms/fibre-broadband-availability—customer-form

      Select the option “I cannot get fibre but by neighbours can” – since you say all the surrounding properties are on FTTC, but yours was missed out.

      Usually you’ll get a personal reply in a few weeks explaining what the situation is and what they plan to do about it.

    4. Aled says:

      Ahh, that is a shame. If you have an external antenna fitted and are vaguely near a mast (need a bit of knowledge and tinkering ability!) you can get some surprising speeds in Powys.

      My family are near Llanidloes, no FTTP for 4 miles, we went from 0.5 meg over the BT copper, to 40-60 meg using EE or Three 4G+ and an external antenna (it is reasonably line-of-sight, at 6 miles away).

      It’s kinda pointless buying a 4G wifi box, unless you check out the masts around you and point the mast in the best direction. Our signal went from 10 to 40meg by moving the antenna from one external wall to a better direction for the mast.

    5. NoName says:

      I asked openreach if I could be moved to the cabinet 100 yards away, so they moved my eo line to the cabinet outside the exchange instead (1/2 mile away). If I sign up for fttc I wouldn’t get any better service given the long copper line.
      I’ve already got an external antenna on the 4g setup and unfortunately it’s still a poor signal spot. Whether the SRN changes in the future will help I won’t know for quite a while .

    6. Fastman says:

      no name

      they woud not have moved you to a cabinet that is beyond you (regardless of the distance)as that would have increased you copper line distance and would therefor have disadvantaged copper only providers as that would have forced you to move to a fibre service (whether you wanted or not) there are very strict rules set by ofcom about increasing copper line length and not being equivalent to service providers (that have very severe financial implications) , which is why they have moved to the cab outside the exchnage (EO) as that has no impacted your line length and there fore not disadvanted any communication providier

  4. Optimist says:

    Would it not be more cost-effective to help such hard-to-reach customers to subscribe to a LEO satellite service?

    1. GaryH says:

      It would but aside from the fact that Leo doesn’t meet the Gigabit aims of the Government proposal and no where near meets any kind of ‘Leveling up’

      Its a service with massive ongoing costs in maintenance and a pretty large ecological footprint in the mining of finite resources and production of all these low lifespan LEO sats that then just burn up and the rocket launches needed.

      I’ll barely touch on the ‘space junk’ aspect.

    2. Optimist says:

      GaryH – But the satellites continue to be launched anyway, whether Brits subscribe to the service or not.

    3. Optimist says:

      GaryH – According to reports Starlink gives excellent speeds, far in excess of what many are currently able to get.

      Has the Welsh government published how it came to award this contract? Did it evaluate other cheaper options which would have left more in the kitty for others? Is it really in order to spend £69,000 to connect one property when there numerous others who could be connected to decent broadband for a fraction of that sum?

  5. HR2res says:

    Though the headline cost per property for fttp is ~£69k, without knowing what the actual incidental benefits are for the other 139 properties mentioned you cannot work out what the true cost per property for this project is. However, it is safe to say that given the ancillary benefits it won’t be that headline figure.

    Knowing the triangular area roughly from Builth to Newbridge-on-Wye to the Elan Valley, these are some of the UK areas that are true 4G not-spots (try a few LD1 and LD2 postcodes), and some properties may well not have a clear view to a geostationary satellite, having restricted access to southern skies.

    1. Optimist says:

      LEO satellites are not geostationery.

  6. HR2Res says:

    I didn’t say LEO satellites were geostationary!

    1. HR2Res says:

      I should add that unless you are already signed up with Starlink then the earliest you are likely to get it is 6 months to a year… at around £90 a month for a beta service!!

      Even if I had no 4G and only 0.5-1.5 Mbps over Cu I’d not pay that.

    2. Optimist says:

      HR2Res – Apologies, I misunderstood. Doesn’t the latency issue rule out geostationary satellites for broadband?

    3. HR2Res says:

      @Optimist Only really if you’re a gamer. And I suppose Zoom etc. calls would have a lag. But video streaming and normal web surfing shouldn’t really be much of an issue.

  7. Aled says:

    I am confused about Grwyn Fawr getting FTTP. To my knowledge, it is an uninhabited reservoir/river in the middle of nowhere, miles from other small villages.

    Or is this a flood infrastructure thing?

  8. S says:

    What about damn LLANDYSUL this is getting annoying :l and I’m talking about ACTUAL Llandysul

    1. anonymous says:

      One to ask your politicians. No commercial operator is going to touch it.

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