Better Broadband for Rural Wales

Better quality broadband, lower prices and faster speeds could be on the way for thousands of Broadband customers in Rural Wales.

More than 600,000 homes and businesses across Wales stand to benefit from todays OFCOM ruling to BT Wholesale to reduce its Wholesale charges by 12% to Service Providers in OFCOM Market 1 areas.

The so-called  ‘Market 1’ areas are areas where BT Wholesale is the only provider in town.  For Wales this stretches to 48% of the nation. In these areas customers are usually served with ADSL Max products which provide download speeds up to a maximum8Mbps, with customers receiving typically 1.5-3.5Mbps.

The regulator hopes its decision will encourage BT to invest in the latest ADSL2 technology which provides download speeds of up to 24Mbps, however its ruling increases the pressure on BT’s costs and retail competition.

Whilst BT argue, that there’s nothing new in today’s order, since these proposals that were widely reported on earlier this year.  One thing is for sure; thousands of broadband customers throughout the Principality could stand to gain with more choice and the possibility of flexible pricing to attract their custom to marketing savvy service providers in Rural Wales.

The Universal Service Commitment in Wales

Broadband Delivery UK BDUK have been very active of late with spending announcements for North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wales.  However they’ve now decided to postpone what was previously described as a “pitifully unambitious” target of providing its 2Mbps ‘Universal Service Commitment’ for all by 2012 until 2015.

In November 2010 Ed Vaisey (Head of BDUK) stated that we are now at a “Tipping Point in relation to the online world” which reinforced Lord Carters belief that “it’s crucial we ensure that rural communities aren’t left behind as the rest of the country enjoys the benefits of a 21st Century Digital Britain“.

These statements echo the widely held belief illustrated in the Digital Britain Report which stated that we’re “moving conferring advantage on those who have it to conferring active disadvantage on those who are without”.

Therefore if the  Welsh Government’s vision of vision of making Wales “one of the best places in the world to live, to work and to thrive”  is to be believed, this a moment of great opportunity for WG to deliver infrastructure and broadcast positive rhetoric of success in Wales

Thank you for your submissions

Thank you to all of you for your submissions ahead of our hearing with the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.

Special thanks to Langorse Activity Centre for highlighting their challenges accessing greater bandwidth to support their IT infrastructure.  I’m sorry we didn’t get chance to highlight your experience along with other examples of businesses throughout Rural Wales facing similar obstacles.

To view the committee enquiry with ourselves, NFU, CLA,Virgin Media, BT & Fibrespeed click here

Welsh Affairs

We’re privileged to have been invited to give evidence to the ‘Broadband in Wales Inquiry’ which is been conducted by Welsh Affairs Select Committee in the Westminster Parliament on 5th July.

Do you have have feelings around the following points?

  1. Why increasing Broadband should be prioritized
  2. What are the particular issues that face Wales
  3. Why is Broadband take-up lower in Wales
  4. Can Government do more to promote the benefits to business
  5. Are Government plans for super-fast Broadband adequate
  6. What can be done to eradicate Broadband Not Spots
  7. What’s your experience of Mobile Broadband Coverage
  8. How do you feel about alternative solutions such as satellite,  for the delivery of your broadband

We value your thoughts, so please do get in touch either by emailing or phone 07764 236353