Work to bring broadband to rural communities in Mid Wales gaining momentum

Work to bring high-speed futureproof broadband to Powys’ rural communities is now gaining momentum, thanks to a pilot project led by Powys County Council.

Cllr Iain McIntosh
Cllr Iain McIntosh

The initial pilot, funded by Arwain, the Welsh Government and EU funded LEADER rural development scheme in Powys, as well as the Rural Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, focused on three Powys communities to improve their broadband and develop a toolkit to help other communities with the process.

In early 2021, the Community Councils of Aberedw/ Glascwm and the Rhiwcynon Ward (Dwyriw and Manafon) alongside the respective project working group, identified the scope of the pilot area within their community

Following this, letters were drafted by the community councils and distributed by the chosen supplier, Broadway Partners. All premises within these communities should have now received a letter.

To date, just over half of Aberedw/Glascwm residents have registered their interest, the number of residents in the Rhiwcynon Ward (Dwyriw and Manafon) is just under a third.

Powys councillor Iain McIntosh cabinet member for Economic Development said: "We would encourage residents in either of these communities that would like to improve their connectivity to get in touch with the respective community council.

"Our third pilot area in Llanafan Fawr and Llanwrthwl is at a more advanced stage, however it is not too late for residents in either of these communities, who are interested in improving their connectivity, to register their interest.

"This is an innovative project which will go on to benefit many more residents, businesses and communities throughout the county."

“Internet connection is such an integral part of today’s society and I think the Covid pandemic has really shown us the extent to which we rely on good Wi-Fi, to keep us entertained, connected and to be able to work from home.

“Being such a rural county really has its challenges when it comes to connectivity, however we, as a council, are working hard to fill in the gaps and improve this for our residents.

“The work of the council’s Community Broadband Officer will also help to drive this work forward and support all Powys communities.”

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