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Assembly has failed to deliver on broadband

Created on 19/06/2017 @ 07:39
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More needs to be done to provide superfast broadband in parts of Montgomeryshire still unable to connect to it, according to AM, Russell George.

His comments come as the current programme of rolling out the Superfast Cymru fibre broadband scheme comes to an end and a new programme is confirmed to start in January next year.

Mr George (pictured) said many homes and businesses were still unable to get fibre broadband, with many being told they would get it, to only then be told weeks later that they won’t get it at all.

He said: “The Superfast Cymru project has undoubtedly improved the availability of fibre broadband across Wales, and this is very much to be welcomed. However, it is undeniable that the Welsh Government have failed to deliver on their 2011 commitment to ensure that all residential premises and businesses in Wales have access to next generation broadband by 2015.

“The original open market review identified 45,000 premises in Wales that would not benefit from the project but this has now grown to 98,000—over double the original number.

“The project is also still plagued with communications issues, which see residents being told one month that they’ll have access to fibre broadband by a certain date, only to be told a few weeks later that they won’t receive it at all. This is unacceptable and I have sought assurances from the Welsh Government that any successor scheme has a contractual obligation built into it that will see an improvement in public communications.”

Mr George added: “In my view, the Welsh Government must also place a greater emphasis on encouraging take-up and ensure that the broadband voucher schemes, which are available to support residents and businesses who remain outside the scope of the Superfast Cymru project, are sufficiently flexible for people to obtain an alternative solution if they find that they are unable to benefit from the scheme.

“I would also like to encourage everyone to view the interactive map of those premises which will be included as part of the successor scheme and take part in the four-week public consultation which closes on 13th July to ensure that all premises which should be included, are included in the new scheme so that nobody in Montgomeryshire misses out unnecessarily.”

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