Tag Archives: Ofcom

Ofcom report that Wales is catching up

Ofcom report that broadband coverage is ‘catching up’ in Wales but still lags behind England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

BT claim that they are making great progress with the Superfast Cymru upgrade programme, passing more than 5,000 premises per week.   However independent industry analysts such as Think Broadband argue that the Superfast Cymru roll-out will will undershoot its 96% target (roughly 700,000 premises) and only achieve 80% coverage by final completion of the project in 2016.

The Welsh Government are clearly aware of the limitations of Superfast Cymru project and are currently consulting with suppliers to take part in the Superfast Cymru ‘infill’ programme.

In the meantime the Ofcom report can be seen here.

ABC – Can you apply?

Access Broadband Cymru (ABC) is Welsh Government (WG) scheme designed to help those who suffer from poor Broadband.

The Government’s original Universal Service Commitment (USC) was to ensure that everyone could access Broadband speeds of 2Mbps by 2012, however Ofcom recently reported that 12% of Wales (circa 150,000 premises) failed to receive these speeds.

So if you’re in a post code area not scheduled to covered by the WG/BT ‘Superfast Cymru’ (super fast network) programme then you can apply for a ABC grant here. But be aware there are some grey areas.

Ofcom report that two thirds of the slow speeds recorded are apparently in areas where super fast networks exist, so you may not be able to apply for ABC since you should be covered under ‘Superfast Cymru’.  It is worth noting your options for alternative providers are limited since most Internet Service Providers use BT’s infrastructure.

Furthermore, if you are in an area not yet covered by ‘Superfast Cymru’ project (as outlined in percentage terms below) you still may not be able to apply for ABC until the Superfast Cymru project is complete in March 2016.

We appreciate the ‘commercial confidentiality’ around ‘Superfast Cymru’ and the change of heart by Rt Hon Maria Miller (DCMS) to make the Superfast postcode level data available.  We are also bemused at how some alternative providers to BT have cashed in a small fortune by means of  the WG Broadband Support Scheme onto to provide poor service to already disadvantaged customers, as seen here.

Nevertheless we still suggest that if  you suffer from Broadband speeds of less than 2Mpbs then apply for the ABC here.

If you’d like to discuss any of the issues raised above then please drop us a line or to see the Ofcom report in full click here.