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Welshpool broadband speeds “abysmal”

 
Created on 23/02/2021 @ 11:12

 

Our broadband speeds have been labelled “abysmal” by two local councillors who claim that the Welshpool area is lagging behind vast swathes of the developing world.

They say that Montgomeryshire was ranked 11th slowest out of the UK’s 650 constituencies with speeds of 32.2 Mbps, slower than countries like Paraguay and Vietnam.

The need for ultra-fast broadband in the Welshpool area has been made a priority by Welsh Liberal Democrats Senedd Candidate, Alison Alexander, who is also a Llanfyllin town councillor, and Welshpool town councillor, Richard Church, after the frustrating revelations were made public by House of Commons Library research by MP Layla Moran.

Cllr Church said: “Despite repeated Government promises, thousands of people in Welshpool and the surrounding area are being left in the digital slow lane. Our poor infrastructure is risking pushing both young people and investment out of the region.

“For many of us, the poor level of service during lockdown has been to real detriment. Hampering people’s ability to work or study effectively. The situation is even worse if you leave Welshpool itself and look at the situation in smaller periphery villages.”

The pair said that the Westminster government recently shelved its manifesto commitment to give all homes across the UK superfast broadband by 2025, and reduced planned spending on the roll-out of fibre optic technology from £5 billion to £1.2 billion in the Chancellor’s latest spending review.

Cllr Alexander added: “The government’s failure to improve this situation just isn’t acceptable. With so much of the economy moving online due to the pandemic, in a pattern that isn’t set to change soon, local businesses are not being given the tools they need to build a thriving local economy. And it is not just the economy, but also our children’s education.

“Urgent investment is needed in boosting internet speeds in rural areas, including extended tax relief on new broadband infrastructure and increased subsidies for ultra-fast broadband to ensure no household is left behind. Failures by this government to do this so far means the people of Montgomeryshire are left with slower average broadband speeds than Vietnam and Paraguay.

“I am urging Montgomeryshire’s Conservative MP to do more to tackle the region’s broadband shortcomings, in particular he should be pushing the Chancellor to reinstate previous manifesto commitments that he shelved. His upcoming budget is the perfect opportunity to show he cares about people outside large cities.”


 

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