Rural broadband 'notspots' to go online

Image caption,
Broadband offers faster, always-on connections

Four rural communities that struggle to get broadband - called "notspots"- are to get faster online access by the end of summer.

Beulah and Ystrad Meurig in Ceredigion and Cil-y-Cwm and Llanfynydd in Carmarthenshire, are all being broadband enabled.

The work is a joint initiative from the Welsh Assembly Government and BT.

Notspots are areas that struggle to get fast internet access, often because of distance to the telephone exchange.

Weaker signal

The further away a home is from the exchange, the weaker the broadband signal becomes.

In 2006 the Welsh Assembly Government and BT identified some of those "notspot" communities and announced a rolling programme to upgrade the infrastructure serving them.

So far about 8,500 premises in Wales have since gone from notspot to broadband.

Last year, Reynalton and Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire, Llanpumsaint and Bronwydd Arms in Carmarthenshire, Cilcennin in Ceredigion and Gwytherin in Conwy, received broadband access.

Economy and Transport Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "Access to the digital world is crucial in a modern global economy and we cannot afford to leave anybody behind.

"This is why we have committed to finding ways for the relatively few areas in Wales that remain unable to access broadband."

Ann Beynon, BT's director for Wales, said: "This latest announcement is an important step forward and an excellent example of the way in which we can bring broadband to those communities where commercial deployment costs are prohibitive and where partnership with the assembly government is key."

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