Getting the right broadband delivery in our community is now considered as important as good road and rail access.
More and more businesses and individuals rely on fast broadband to access services, education, buy and sell online and maintain contact with the outside world.
That’s why I was hugely disappointed to see that seven out of 10 slowest areas in the UK for broadband are in Wales.
That’s a huge indictment of Welsh Government initiatives to deal with the issue to date. Other parts of the UK with similar mountainous terrain manage to overcome the challenges so why is the Cardiff Government failing to do so?
The Welsh Government’s superfast broadband scheme with BT has failed to provide our communities with adequate broadband connection. So the Welsh Government has now pledged an extra £80m to deliver adequate connectivity across Wales, an admission that the previous super-fast broadband scheme has failed to bridge the digital divide.
The UK Government is preparing to invest in cutting edge 5G infrastructure so the least we can expect here is for the Welsh Government to upgrade to 4G so that people in Wales can get access to faster speed internet.
And it’s not just in rural areas – in the past I’ve had to deal with frustrated businesses on Wrexham Industrial Estate and other urban communities that cannot access speedy broadband.
The Welsh Government’s superfast broadband scheme with BT promised to connect 96% of the population to fast internet of at least 10 megabytes per second, but I’ve had people contact me from relatively urban areas with as little as 0.2 megabytes. This is superfast rip off.
The extra £80m investment in better internet connectivity is to be welcomed but this is an admission that the original scheme has failed and has created a digital divide across Wales. Taxpayers in Wales are now forced to foot the extra bill for the Labour government’s failure.