The Welsh Government wants feedback from rural residents and business owners ina bid to close the superfast broadband divide.
The regional BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) project Superfast Cymru aims to provide 96 per cent of Welsh homes and businesses with superfast broadband. While Superfast Cymru is delivering on this promise, it currently stands to leave those in the 4 per cent with a basic service delivering speeds of at least 2Mbps.
A further review has now located where some of the 4 per cent are and now the Welsh Government wants to hear from them.
Families and firms are being asked to get in touch and provide information about the type of broadband they currently receive, what speeds they actually receive compared to the maximum speeds ISPs advertise and what they think is a satisfactory speed to meet their needs.
The Welsh Government is talking with providers of next-gen broadband alongside members of the public and businesses in order to build a clear picture of who wants what and which company or companies are best suited to deliver it.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates said: “Superfast Cymru is the most ambitious programme of its kind in the UK providing faster broadband to a greater proportion of premises more quickly. Without this programme large parts of Wales would be without access to fast fibre broadband.”
“Fast fibre broadband is important for businesses and households and we want to hear from people across Wales about their current experience and what speeds they are getting. I want to hear people’s views and I would urge people across Wales to take part.”
Interested parties can take part in the survey or consultation by visiting this website. If you want to have your say and help shape the future of superfast Wales, you’ll need to have submitted your response by July 3.
The Welsh Government’s superfast broadband plans could also get a boost in the form of 320 kilometers of fibre optic cable.
A second OMR (Open Market Review) has been called by the Welsh Government which could see the Fibrespeed asset used alongside Superfast Cymru, to connect any Welsh not-spots along the way.
BT has been handed the Superfast Cymru contract and in most cases is connecting homes and businesses to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) lines, which provide top speeds of 80Mbps. While speeds decrease over distance – the further away you are from a cabinet, the slower your top download speed will be – BT is trialling vectoring and G.fast, which promise to increase the top speed and somewhat mitigate the distance issue.
BT is also installing FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) in a number of places. FTTP doesn’t suffer from distance degredation in the same way FTTC does. Top speeds possible on BT FTTC lines are currently 330Mbps – but trials have shown that speeds of 10Gbps are possible.