Welsh politician calls for better broadband header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

A Welsh politician has called for government action to improve broadband services in a rural area of the country. 

Nick Ramsay, Welsh Assembly Member for Monmouthshire, told local newspaper the Free Press the lack of connectivity in the region needs to be addressed urgently. 

"In an age when we can put a man on the moon it seems ludicrous that there are parts of rural Monmouthshire that are still without access to an up to date efficient broadband service," he commented. 

Mr Ramsay said he has already discussed the issue with the Welsh government, but action is not being taken quickly enough. 

"I think there is a general drift on this important issue and it's time for the public to have certainty about the availability of broadband," he told the newspaper. 

The situation in Monmouthshire is not uncommon throughout Wales, as a significant proportion of the country's population live in rural areas and reliable broadband connections can often be hard to come by. 

In August, a study by telecommunications watchdog Ofcom found Wales has the lowest level of super-fast broadband coverage in the UK. Only 48 per cent of the nation's households are within range of a high-speed network compared to 95 per cent, 76 per cent and 52 per cent in England, Northern Ireland and Wales respectively. 

Furthermore, just 66 per cent of adults in Wales have access to fixed line or mobile broadband, while the UK average stands at 75 per cent. 

In July, Farmers Weekly reported on a speech by Ofcom's director for Wales Rhodri Williams, in which he claimed rural parts of the country are 13 times less likely to have super-fast internet than major towns and cities. 

He warned as many as 5,000 households may not have access to a reliable broadband connection. Such people would benefit from switching to Tooway satellite broadband, which can provide high-speed services anywhere in the UK, including the most remote communities. 

Posted by Mark Wynn