Seven out of ten slowest areas in UK for broadband is in Wales – Welsh Government needs to act
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas has called on the Welsh Government to stop the “superfast” broadband rip off and ensure that people in all parts of Wales have adequate access to the internet.
Simon Thomas said that the Welsh Government’s superfast broadband scheme with BT had failed to provide Wales’ rural communities with adequate broadband connection. The Welsh Government have now pledged an additional £80m to deliver adequate connectivity across Wales, which is an admission of failure of the previous super-fast broadband scheme which has created a digital divide across Wales.
Recent figures from the House of Commons Library show that seven out of 10 of the council wards from across the UK with the slowest download speeds are in Wales.
As the UK Government prepares to invest in cutting edge 5G infrastructure, Simon Thomas said that it was now time for the Welsh Government to upgrade to 4G so that people in Wales can get some access to faster speed internet.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs Simon Thomas said:
“Adequate access to broadband is no longer considered a luxury for businesses and households across Wales, but rather an essential service for commerce, healthy living, to reduce environmental impact, social interaction and education.
“Seven out of the UK’s ten worst areas for internet speeds are in Wales; that’s a damning reflection of the Labour government’s effectiveness in rolling out superfast internet. Poor broadband connection is a blight on rural communities and right across Wales, people struggle to get even a basic level of internet connection.
“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 Welsh Government has recently pledged £80 million of further investment in broadband. Whilst any investment in better internet connectivity is to be welcomed, this can only be read as an admission that its 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.
“The UK Government has begun planning ahead of 5G technology, whilst the Welsh Government is still grappling with 4G. I want to see the Welsh Government upgrade its 4G infrastructure to give people dependable access to the internet wherever in Wales they are.”