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UPDATE The Welsh Assembly and BT UK Bring Broadband Internet to More Villages

Posted: 07th Jun, 2010 By: MarkJ
wales uk broadband mapSeveral rural Welsh (UK) villages including Beulah, Ystrad Meurig (Ceredigion), Cil-y-Cwm and Llanfynydd (Carmarthenshire) look set to benefit from faster broadband internet connections following a new joint pledge by BT and the Welsh Assembly government.

The effort is part of the joint Regional Innovative Broadband Support Scheme (RIBS), which seeks to tackle any remaining "not-spot" locations in the country. So far it has helped to broadband enable 8,500 premises in Wales.

However despite some successes the scheme has faced criticism for being too slow to tackle all of the remaining "not spot" areas. Most recently a pensioner living in the rural Welsh village of Salem near Llandeilo (Carmarthenshire) was quoted £150,000 to have broadband installed (here).

The Welsh Assembly's Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones, told WalesOnline:

"Access to the digital world is crucial in a modern global economy and we cannot afford to leave anybody behind. This is why we have committed to finding ways for the relatively few areas in Wales that remain unable to access broadband.

There is no doubt that high-speed internet service is vital for communities in every part of the country. Top broadband links are vital for developing the knowledge economy, improving the ability of businesses and individuals to network and innovate.

Not only is fast web access a feature of many households but it is essential that businesses are fully equipped with first-class ICT infrastructure to compete successfully in a global market. And in line with the goals we set in the One Wales agreement, I want to see communities in rural areas sharing fully in the benefits."

We note that Reynalton and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Llanpumsaint and Bronwydd Arms in Carmarthenshire, Cilcennin in Ceredigion and Gwytherin in Conwy also gained broadband under the same RIBS scheme last year. This is good news but that still leaves several hundred communities left to go.
Broadband Notspot Registration Wales
http://www.bbwo.org.uk/broadband-3161
UPDATE 8th June 2010

Forgot to mention that the aim is to complete this new work by the end of the summer. We also have a comment from BT.

Ann Beynon, BT's director for Wales, said:

"BT is pleased to be investing heavily in its network in Wales, not only to bring next generation access broadband to the country but also to bring broadband to communities that currently don't have the technology.

BT and Openreach have been working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government to find solutions to the issue of non-availability of basic broadband in rural communities and this latest announcement is an important step forward and an excellent example of the way in which we can bring broadband to those communities where commercial deployment costs are prohibitive and where partnership with the Assembly Government is key."
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