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Village's broadband "downgraded"

Created on 19/05/2017 @ 21:26
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The Welsh Government has been criticised for promising high speed fibre broadband direct to premises in a Montgomeryshire village and then “changing the goalposts”, according to AM Russell George.

Residents in Adfa, near Llanfair Caereinion, had originally been told because of technical issues they would have fibre delivered direct to their homes, instead of to a Cabinet and then through conventional copper phone lines to their premises.

But now, with just eight months left of the Superfast Cymru programme to go, residents have been told access will be from a Cabinet, which means many properties will not be able to get high speed broadband because they are too far away from it.
Questioning the First Minister this week, Mr George called for the First Minister to intervene and investigate these “communications errors.”
He told the First Minister that in March he had said he received a letter from the Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James AM, confirming that residents in Adfa would benefit from Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology but in April, Mr George received another letter to say that Adfa had been downgraded to Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology which would mean that those who are too far away from the cabinet, would miss out on superfast broadband altogether.
Last year’s Evaluation of the Next Generation Broadband Wales Programme also called for a more coherent and strategic approach to communications after reporting that the communications surround the timing of the roll-out was inconsistent.
After questioning the First Minister at the National Assembly for Wales, Mr George said: “I’m grateful to the First Minister for agreeing to look into this matter.
“It is bitterly disappointing for residents to have been promised one thing and then find out that they are not going to benefit from a fibre broadband upgrade after all.
“We are just  months away from the conclusion of the Superfast Cymru project and we really ought to be in a position whereby everyone has a definitive answer on whether they are going to receive an upgrade as part of the Superfast Cymru scheme. There’s really no excuse for these communications errors to occur any longer.”
He added: “Residents and businesses in Adfa had made assumptions based on the information which was originally received and now their hopes have been dashed, meaning that they have to make alternative plans which could have been made earlier if only the Welsh Government and BT had provided accurate information in the first place.
“This programme has been beset with communication issues and once again there seem to be issues in communicating with the public about the timing of the roll-out. I sincerely hope that the First Minister is able to improve this unacceptable situation.”
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