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Exploring opportunities for a digital revolution in Mid Wales

13.03.24 Gigabit broadband is an emerging technology that both families and businesses can greatly benefit from. Current grant-funded projects available could significantly help Mid Wales boost its connectivity infrastructure, but it can be confusing when exploring what options are out there.

We want to help clarify that information so that you, as residents and businesses across Ceredigion and Powys, can make informed choices to suit your needs.

Mid Wales is falling behind in terms of coverage compared to the rest of the UK. This digital divide impacts not only our daily lives but also hinders our economic and educational progress.

Gigabit broadband signifies a profound transformation in connectivity, which can offer speeds reaching up to 1000 Mbps. For households, it means faster download speeds, a more reliable connection for home working, and an end to buffering. For businesses, it means enhanced competitiveness, efficient operations, and the ability to innovate.

Broadband providers, Openreach are currently the only providers involved in community broadband projects across Ceredigion and Powys. They are investing in the infrastructure to enable the roll out of this technology but need to know that there is a definite demand for it in areas before they can commit to investing and supplying Gigabit.

To identify if there's interest in these delivery projects, residents and businesses need to pre-register their interest through the use of free vouchers. Pre-registering does more than just express interest; it is a powerful tool that can influence the allocation of resources and prioritisation of Mid Wales in broadband rollout plans.

Openreach is currently seeking interest from residents in the communities of Berriew, Llanwrtyd Wells, New Radnor, Llyswen and Llanrhaeadr in Powys as wells as Rhydlewis and Tregaron in Ceredigion to take advantage of an ultrafast upgrade.

Openreach are a 'neutral host.' This means that they build the infrastructure for the Gigabit broadband which can then be accessed and run by any UK network operator, for example, your current internet provider.

To explore options to pre-register your interest and stay informed about community initiatives within a current catchment area visit:

Councillor Clive Davies, Digital Champion and Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration with responsibility for Growing Mid Wales, Ceredigion County Council and Councillor Jake Berriman, Cabinet Member for a Connected Powys, Powys County Council said: "The journey to better broadband in Mid Wales is not just about faster internet. It is about connecting communities, empowering businesses, and opening a world of opportunities. It is evident that Gigabit broadband is not a luxury but a vital necessity for futureproofing Ceredigion's and Powys' digital infrastructure. We urge our residents in the areas earmarked for an upgrade to register your interest. Your participation is pivotal in bringing this much-needed change to our county."

For residents seeking to enhance their broadband connectivity but unable to find evidence of upgrades in their area, the Welsh Government's ABC grant scheme, (Access Broadband Cymru) offers a potential solution. This scheme targets residents who are experiencing poor broadband connectivity and offers funding directly to eligible residents to support the installation of improved broadband infrastructure.

This funding can cover the costs associated with upgrading existing connections or installing new infrastructure, such as satellite or wireless broadband solutions. Visit the ABC Grant Scheme webpage for more information:

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