BT charge for email put on hold

Have changed your email address yet because BT told that they were going to start charging? Lots of people have and google appears to be benefiting.

BT recently notified some customers that that they were going to start charging £1.60 p/month simply to keep their BT email address active.  Someone somewhere has realised the negative PR impact of this and so BT are now back tracking and will be continuing to host their basic email accounts for free for one year.

Fresh communications will be sent out shortly.  In the meantime you can click here for more information.

MIP in Wales

MIP – ‘Mobile Infrastructure Project’ aims to improve the coverage and quality of mobile network services for consumers and businesses where existing mobile network coverage is poor or non-existent.

The £150m contract award has been granted to Arqiva who own masts around the country and rents space on them to broadcasters and mobile network operators.

MIPs big challenge is to extend coverage to at least 98% of the UK population. Whilst it remains unclear what percentage of the Welsh population will be covered, the north to south A470 trunk route has been earmarked for deployment for sometime.

MIP is being run by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) who are the same UK Government unit behind  ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’, and the ‘Super Connected Cities’ programme which has been awarded to Cardiff and Newport respectfully.

As with ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’ the MIP project was originally set to complete by 2015, although this could run into 2017.  Both projects hope to help connect local communities, create local jobs and contribute to national growth.

With consumers and businesses increasingly using mobile broadband services, MIP has a real opportunity to deliver a positive impact on the lives and economic prospects of those in the heart rural Wales.

That’s Entertainment

BT are making a splash in the UK Entertainment pool, taking on Virgin and Sky with a new range of content such as BT Sport. But which of one the ‘Big 3’ providers has the best package?

All three providers are subsidizing traditional telephone and broadband packages but if its faster Broadband you want, then carefully consider your requirements before been drawn into attractive ‘triple-play’ offers.

Most BT & Sky customers access Broadband via traditional ADSL, whilst the Virgin network has a limited footprint in Wales.  BT in Partnership with the Welsh Government, are currently upgrading their infrastructure to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) through the ‘Superfast-Cymru’ program, so you might reasonably assume that you can enjoy faster broadband, cheaper telephone calls and premium entertainment channels straight away.  This may/may not be the case.  To see when you’re exchange is due to be upgraded visit www.superfast-cymru.com.

We all enjoy paying less and want more value for our money. But if it’s a better Broadband service you need, having content maybe nice but not actually want you need right now.

If you suffer from slow Broadband and would like to discuss your options in getting a better service, the please contact us: info@disconnectedwales.com

Closure of the Welsh Government ‘Broadband Support Scheme’

The highly popular Broadband Support Scheme that has helped individuals throughout Wales gain access to better Broadband, is due to close on the 31st March 2013.

With focus now switching to the deployment of  ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’ which is set to deliver high-speed Broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in Wales by the end of 2015, it remains to be seen what assistance will be provided to those individuals and businesses who find themselves in the 4% of premises not addressed by ‘Superfast Cyflymu Cymru’ project

EU ready to approve ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’

The EU is now ready to grant State Aid approval for the Welsh Government’s ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’ project. The decision is set to be rubber stamped and announced in early November and will be a relief to many broadband sufferers, BT and the Welsh Government alike.

The deployment which will provide fast fibre-based broadband services to 96% of businesses and homes across Wales by the end of 2015 was announced in July, however EU State Aid approval was required given the fact that BT remained the only bidder for the Welsh contract.

In light of recent public sector procurement fiasco’s for rail services in other parts of the UK, it may come as a comfort to some that the Welsh Government has undergone a thorough procurement process stretching almost 2 years to get to this point. However delays in the deployment and patchy infrastructure upgrades during this time have (and will) continue to frustrate some early adopters.

As Internet connectivity increasingly becomes an integral part of our daily lives, our expectancy of what it does for us, whenever and wherever we want it to, will continue to rise. Therefore issues around the speed, cost and access of high quality broadband services are set to be a thorny subject for many across Wales for the foreseeable future.

What the Chancellors Budget means for communications in Wales

1. Up to £12 million of investment in Cardiff to deliver ultra-fast broadband to up to 142,000 residents and 10,000 businesses, and high-speed wireless connectivity to up to 196,000 residents in key areas.

2. Investment in mobile infrastructure to deliver improved coverage, including on the A470(T) between Llandudno and Cardiff

3. An additional £50 million will be made available to fund a second wave of super-connected cities with cities across the UK eligible to apply for funding.

For thoughts on the Chancellors Budget from a Welsh perspective as published by the bbc; click here

Rural de-population and lack of opportunity

Do the following points resonate with you?
Are you in agreement the conclusion?

  • The primary school closed
  • The local shop closed
  • The post office closed
  • Loss of local jobs
  • Loss of incentive to live in rural villages

Increased community fragility, with more houses let which means that tenants are able to hand in their notice and move into the towns at three months notice.

The continued amalgamation of farms and mechanization of farming means that the numbers employed in farming has dropped significantly, which is dramatically affecting rural areas given its strong dependence on agriculture.

The most common reasons given to leave rural communities is the:

  • Lack of activities and opportunity for the young
  • Cost of transport
  • Poor communications (slow broadband/unreliable mobile coverage/limited choice of providers)

Let us know your thoughts…

info@disconnectedwales.com

Monmouthshire -‘Local Broadband Networks’

People and businesses across Monmouthshire could soon reap the benefits from a faster broadband.

Monmouthshire County Council is seeking to help communities struggling with poor internet, gain access to better broadband through a brand enterprise run by the council’s ‘Adventa’ programme.

The ‘Local Broadband Networks’ initiative in conjunction with the Rural Development Plan for Wales has commissioned a survey to better understand people’s need and identify areas where the council can assist.

‘Adventa’ Social Enterprise development officer Deserie Mansfield states that ‘If you are in area the suffers from poor service we want to know about it.”

So, for people living, working or visiting Monmouthshire and would like to air their feelings about the state of broadband in the county. Visit; http://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/broadband

Further details and copies of the survey are available from Deserie Mansfield on (01633-7448311) or by email deserie@adventa.org.uk.  Survey forms must be returned by March 9th and results will be published in mid May on the Monmouthshire County Council website

BT Fibre Roll-Out continues across Wales

BT continues to roll out it’s fibre programme across the UK and has today announced it’s next batch of telephone exchange upgrades for is superfast ‘up to’ 40Mbps Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and 100 Mbps Fibre to the premises (FTTP) areas

Of the 178 telephone exchanges named in today’s announcement, the following 13 are in Wales:

ABERGAVENNY
BARGOED
BRITON FERRY
MOLD
NEWBRIDGE
NEWPORT
PONTYPOOL
PONTYPRIDD
PRESTATYN
ROATH
SKETTY
TONYPANDY
WREXHAM

If you’re in these areas you’ll soon have the option to upgrade. With BT also planning to increase it’s top speeds of FTTC and FTTP during 2012 you soon could be soon be leaving others behind as you enjoy the full benefits of superfast broadband.