Newtown summit to discuss broadband improvements hears of frustrations

Reporter:

Elgan Hearn

A SUMMIT meeting to discuss broadband issues in Montgomeryshire was told of the problems residents face in getting online.

Organised by Montgomeryshire AM, Russell George, North Powys residents met in Newtown to discuss the issues with the Welsh Government’s Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James AM.

They were joined at the meeting by the BT director of the Superfast Cymru scheme, Ed Hunt, who answered questions about the scheme.

Mr Hunt also discussed plans to improve broadband coverage after the current scheme comes to an end, later this year.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr George AM said: “I was delighted that the Minister took the time to attend this important summit which provided an opportunity for community leaders from across Montgomeryshire to communicate their frustrations about the way in which the Superfast Cymru project has been deployed in North Powys.

“It remains a significant concern to me that many rural communities across Montgomeryshire appear to be excluded from the fibre broadband upgrade or, at the very least, are at the back of the queue when it comes to receiving superfast speeds.

“While the Superfast Cymru project has improved the availability of fibre broadband across Wales benefiting both residents and businesses, there are many areas which still find themselves with inadequate broadband.

“The reality is that we, in North Powys, are some way off from receiving universal access to next generation broadband.”

County Councillor for Llandinam, Cllr Karl Lewis, added: “Connectivity is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ when it comes to living and working in Mid Wales, it is now considered an essential service – like water and electricity.

“Both the Minister and BT are under no illusions about our expectations to benefit from enhanced digital connectivity at the earliest opportunity.”

Email:

elgan.hearn@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the County Times

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