New Plan to tackle broadband notspots
A new scheme to help bring broadband services to rural communities like Pembrokeshire has been announced by Plaid’s Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones. The new Broadband Support Scheme is up and running to complement the Assembly’s current Regional Innovative Broadband Support (RIBS) project.
The RIBS project has helped 8,500 premises in Wales gain access to broadband including homes in the villages of Saundersfoot and Reynalton. During the campaign for broadband services in Pembrokeshire I have registered up to 200 people, who can’t receive broadband, with the Welsh Assembly RIBS scheme. This helped to ensure that Saundersfoot and Reynalton were only two of six ‘notspot’ areas in Wales that were ‘broadband enabled’ last year.
What we need to do now is ensure that more people in Pembrokeshire benefit from this latest Broadband Support Scheme. If you can’t receive broadband at the moment but would like to receive the service please contact the office for more details and advice. The new Broadband Support Scheme will have initial funding of around £2 million and will able individuals and communities in Wales’ remaining broadband ‘notspots’ to approach service providers directly, with support of Assembly Government funding. Support will be available for up to a maximum of £1,000 for individual premises. The campaign in Saunderfoot and Reynalton was very successful and has made a huge difference to individuals and businesses. One local business owner recently told me that he saved £4,000 in one morning just because he had access to an effective broadband service. Access to the digital world is vital in a modern global economy and it’s important that rural Pembrokeshire is not left behind. High-speed internet service is vital for communities in every part of the country..
Top broadband links are vital for developing the knowledge economy, improving the ability of businesses and individuals to network and innovate. A lack of broadband at the moment seriously affects the local economy. It’s essential that businesses are fully equipped with first-class ICT infrastructure to compete successfully in a global market and hopefully this announcement will allow communities in rural areas to do just that.