Fears Pembrokeshire could lose out on superfast broadband

THERE are fears Pembrokeshire’s rural communities could make up a large proportion of the four per cent of Welsh households without superfast broadband by 2017.

Superfast Cymru is the Welsh Government’s programme for the roll out of high speed broadband in Wales.

The partnership between the Welsh Government and BT aims to bring superfast broadband to 96% of households in Wales by 2017.

Pembrokeshire County Council leader Councillor Jamie Adams has already met BT’s director for Wales to express concern over being at “the end of the line” for the 96% coverage.

The issue was discussed by cabinet on Monday (April 9), following a call by Councillor Owen James for the council to look at alternative solutions.

In a written submission to cabinet, Cllr James stated: “To protect economic progress, identify possible commercial opportunities and have an impartial examination of solutions, we need to be engaged to protect our interests.”

Cllr Adams said: “I think it’s particularly concerning, and it always has been one of my concerns, is this 96% coverage.

“I think in a county which is on the periphery geographically, a fair proportion of that four per cent might be in this county.

“It’s not just about the economic benefits, it’s about access to public services as well.”

Cllr Huw George added: “I can tell you where that four per cent will be – Maenclochog.”

Concerns were expressed over the potential impact on businesses, people working from home, access to public services and the effect on young people who need the internet for educational purposes.

“It’s deprivation of opportunity,” said Cllr James.

Businesses at the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone should have access to superfast broadband by late summer, while the Haverdfordwest exchange is expected to be upgraded by June, followed by Milford Haven, Johnston, Neyland and Pembroke.

The council is also working on a European-funded project to deliver broadband to communities such as Angle, Herbranston and Newgale.

Cabinet voted in favour of referring the matter to an overview and scrutiny committee.

Comments (9)

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9:48pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Cymru bach says...

At the risk of sounding ignorant, - how fast is superfast?
At the risk of sounding ignorant, - how fast is superfast? Cymru bach
  • Score: 1

10:27pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Bilbo101 says...

Cymru bach wrote:
At the risk of sounding ignorant, - how fast is superfast?
At moment high speed fibre connections can deliver over 100Mbps and it is recommended that a connection of at least 5Mbps is required to reliably download / stream a HD quality video and 20Mbs to stream an ultra HD 4K quality. The main issue though is not so much the potential speed of the cables but the amount of traffic it can carry. It is a bit like the M4 motorway, on a quiet day everyone can travel at 70mph if they wanted to, but at peak busy times bottlenecks appear and traffic can grind to a halt. Broadband is much the same and it does not matter so much if all of Pembrokeshires exchanges were upgraded to fibre if the end connection from the street cabinet to peoples houses are still copper wires then the increase will be small. However if your lucky enough to be in an area where you can have a fibre optic connection right up to your house then you experience blistering speeds of 30Mbs+ and would be able to download a HD video film in say 20 mins compared to 5-10 hours on and existing slow copper connection. N.B. the figures are approximate but hopefully illustrate the difference. If your not going to be downloading films and music then your unlikely to notice much of a difference. However the way the market is going then we will soon all have internet enabled TV's and most of the media we watch and listen to will be delivered via the internet rather than being relayed by masts etc and therefore if we want to keep up with the trend then we will need superfast broadband in order to take full advantage of media developments.

Superfast Internet will also have big implications for businesses as it will mean that there will no longer be the necessity to base your business in the city in order to have a fast enough connection. Superfast internet will mean that more businesses can operate in rural areas and also more people can work from home.

I currently work from home using a slow copper connection and there are times where I am tearing my hair out and waiting very long times for large files to both download and upload. However when highspeed fibre is enabled then all those delays will be gone and what previously took ages to download will take only a few seconds or less.
[quote][p][bold]Cymru bach[/bold] wrote: At the risk of sounding ignorant, - how fast is superfast?[/p][/quote]At moment high speed fibre connections can deliver over 100Mbps and it is recommended that a connection of at least 5Mbps is required to reliably download / stream a HD quality video and 20Mbs to stream an ultra HD 4K quality. The main issue though is not so much the potential speed of the cables but the amount of traffic it can carry. It is a bit like the M4 motorway, on a quiet day everyone can travel at 70mph if they wanted to, but at peak busy times bottlenecks appear and traffic can grind to a halt. Broadband is much the same and it does not matter so much if all of Pembrokeshires exchanges were upgraded to fibre if the end connection from the street cabinet to peoples houses are still copper wires then the increase will be small. However if your lucky enough to be in an area where you can have a fibre optic connection right up to your house then you experience blistering speeds of 30Mbs+ and would be able to download a HD video film in say 20 mins compared to 5-10 hours on and existing slow copper connection. N.B. the figures are approximate but hopefully illustrate the difference. If your not going to be downloading films and music then your unlikely to notice much of a difference. However the way the market is going then we will soon all have internet enabled TV's and most of the media we watch and listen to will be delivered via the internet rather than being relayed by masts etc and therefore if we want to keep up with the trend then we will need superfast broadband in order to take full advantage of media developments. Superfast Internet will also have big implications for businesses as it will mean that there will no longer be the necessity to base your business in the city in order to have a fast enough connection. Superfast internet will mean that more businesses can operate in rural areas and also more people can work from home. I currently work from home using a slow copper connection and there are times where I am tearing my hair out and waiting very long times for large files to both download and upload. However when highspeed fibre is enabled then all those delays will be gone and what previously took ages to download will take only a few seconds or less. Bilbo101
  • Score: 5

1:48pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Shadowlands says...

The missing 4%
Surely we have the right to assume that only 4% of Pembrokeshire will not be covered and that the 96% coverage of Wales is evenly spread. I know it will not be, with Cardiff getting nigh on 100%, as will Swansea and other urban areas. In fact using Welsh Govmt figures, less than 4% of the Welsh population actually lives in Pembrokeshire, however 4% of Pembrokeshire is 4,900 people or about 2,100 homes!
The missing 4% Surely we have the right to assume that only 4% of Pembrokeshire will not be covered and that the 96% coverage of Wales is evenly spread. I know it will not be, with Cardiff getting nigh on 100%, as will Swansea and other urban areas. In fact using Welsh Govmt figures, less than 4% of the Welsh population actually lives in Pembrokeshire, however 4% of Pembrokeshire is 4,900 people or about 2,100 homes! Shadowlands
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Bilbo101 says...

Shadowlands wrote:
The missing 4%
Surely we have the right to assume that only 4% of Pembrokeshire will not be covered and that the 96% coverage of Wales is evenly spread. I know it will not be, with Cardiff getting nigh on 100%, as will Swansea and other urban areas. In fact using Welsh Govmt figures, less than 4% of the Welsh population actually lives in Pembrokeshire, however 4% of Pembrokeshire is 4,900 people or about 2,100 homes!
With the advances in recent internet technology this whole issue is going to be a non issue within a couple of years and even the remotest homes in the county will have a sufficiently fast enough connection to do what they want to do. That is my prediction. Not all will have direct access to super fast fibre connections but they will be able to have significantly fast enough connections to stream films and download music etc. 2-3 years I reckon and all these issues will be solved. The technology exist now, it is just a case of getting it installed.
[quote][p][bold]Shadowlands[/bold] wrote: The missing 4% Surely we have the right to assume that only 4% of Pembrokeshire will not be covered and that the 96% coverage of Wales is evenly spread. I know it will not be, with Cardiff getting nigh on 100%, as will Swansea and other urban areas. In fact using Welsh Govmt figures, less than 4% of the Welsh population actually lives in Pembrokeshire, however 4% of Pembrokeshire is 4,900 people or about 2,100 homes![/p][/quote]With the advances in recent internet technology this whole issue is going to be a non issue within a couple of years and even the remotest homes in the county will have a sufficiently fast enough connection to do what they want to do. That is my prediction. Not all will have direct access to super fast fibre connections but they will be able to have significantly fast enough connections to stream films and download music etc. 2-3 years I reckon and all these issues will be solved. The technology exist now, it is just a case of getting it installed. Bilbo101
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Andrew Lye says...

We were told a few months ago that Johnston should be on superfast broadband by late spring.
Has this been put back as I've been counting the months down....
We were told a few months ago that Johnston should be on superfast broadband by late spring. Has this been put back as I've been counting the months down.... Andrew Lye
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Bilbo101 says...

Andrew Lye wrote:
We were told a few months ago that Johnston should be on superfast broadband by late spring.
Has this been put back as I've been counting the months down....
The have laid a lot of the cables and apparently it is just a case of upgrading the exchange and then the last step will be connecting the houses of those who want it to the green cabinet in the street. The laid the cable in our street in Haverfordwest about 3 weeks ago, so we too are eagerly awaiting the upgrade of our exchange. Hopefully not much longer now :-)
[quote][p][bold]Andrew Lye[/bold] wrote: We were told a few months ago that Johnston should be on superfast broadband by late spring. Has this been put back as I've been counting the months down....[/p][/quote]The have laid a lot of the cables and apparently it is just a case of upgrading the exchange and then the last step will be connecting the houses of those who want it to the green cabinet in the street. The laid the cable in our street in Haverfordwest about 3 weeks ago, so we too are eagerly awaiting the upgrade of our exchange. Hopefully not much longer now :-) Bilbo101
  • Score: 0

8:34am Mon 14 Apr 14

Tttoommy says...

Andrew Lye wrote:
We were told a few months ago that Johnston should be on superfast broadband by late spring.
Has this been put back as I've been counting the months down....
The article suggests that Jamie Adams has taken on the responsibility for super broadband so I'm guessing Pembs CC will give millions away to businesses for no benefit and we'll have narrowband by next year :(
[quote][p][bold]Andrew Lye[/bold] wrote: We were told a few months ago that Johnston should be on superfast broadband by late spring. Has this been put back as I've been counting the months down....[/p][/quote]The article suggests that Jamie Adams has taken on the responsibility for super broadband so I'm guessing Pembs CC will give millions away to businesses for no benefit and we'll have narrowband by next year :( Tttoommy
  • Score: 1

2:38pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Cymru bach says...

In Tenby speeds can be 12-16 Mbs but at times as Bilbo says considerably less. Which is of course the peak times when everybody wants it!

Thanks for the info Bilbo, very informative.
In Tenby speeds can be 12-16 Mbs but at times as Bilbo says considerably less. Which is of course the peak times when everybody wants it! Thanks for the info Bilbo, very informative. Cymru bach
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Tttoommy says...

Bilbo101 wrote:
Shadowlands wrote:
The missing 4%
Surely we have the right to assume that only 4% of Pembrokeshire will not be covered and that the 96% coverage of Wales is evenly spread. I know it will not be, with Cardiff getting nigh on 100%, as will Swansea and other urban areas. In fact using Welsh Govmt figures, less than 4% of the Welsh population actually lives in Pembrokeshire, however 4% of Pembrokeshire is 4,900 people or about 2,100 homes!
With the advances in recent internet technology this whole issue is going to be a non issue within a couple of years and even the remotest homes in the county will have a sufficiently fast enough connection to do what they want to do. That is my prediction. Not all will have direct access to super fast fibre connections but they will be able to have significantly fast enough connections to stream films and download music etc. 2-3 years I reckon and all these issues will be solved. The technology exist now, it is just a case of getting it installed.
Usually when they talk about coverage they're referring to the population not the geographical area so even worse for the villages of Pembs.

Do you think we need to explain that to the brains in the Council?
[quote][p][bold]Bilbo101[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shadowlands[/bold] wrote: The missing 4% Surely we have the right to assume that only 4% of Pembrokeshire will not be covered and that the 96% coverage of Wales is evenly spread. I know it will not be, with Cardiff getting nigh on 100%, as will Swansea and other urban areas. In fact using Welsh Govmt figures, less than 4% of the Welsh population actually lives in Pembrokeshire, however 4% of Pembrokeshire is 4,900 people or about 2,100 homes![/p][/quote]With the advances in recent internet technology this whole issue is going to be a non issue within a couple of years and even the remotest homes in the county will have a sufficiently fast enough connection to do what they want to do. That is my prediction. Not all will have direct access to super fast fibre connections but they will be able to have significantly fast enough connections to stream films and download music etc. 2-3 years I reckon and all these issues will be solved. The technology exist now, it is just a case of getting it installed.[/p][/quote]Usually when they talk about coverage they're referring to the population not the geographical area so even worse for the villages of Pembs. Do you think we need to explain that to the brains in the Council? Tttoommy
  • Score: 1

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