Published: 24th Jul 2014
Broadband services across much of Wales fail to meet the standard expected, it has been claimed.
CLA Cymru questioned people at the Royal Welsh Show recently about whether they had seen any notable improvements in broadband and mobile phone coverage and found that many 'not-spots' still remain, the Farmer's Guardian reports.
One couple who have been particularly affected by poor broadband connectivity are Kerena and Stephen Pugh, who diversified their farm seven years ago and constructed two state-of-the-art holiday lodges. One of the key components that attracted visitors to these holiday homes was the promise of broadband.
However, in recent years connectivity has diminished to the point where it is almost non-existent today.
In a further blow to the farmers, BT has told them that as they are at the end of the line, it is not cost-effective for the company to address the situation and as a result it wishes to withdraw from the contract it agreed with the couple.
Mr and Mrs Pugh have seen their application to the Welsh Government's Broadband Cymru scheme rejected and Mrs Pugh told the newspaper the situation could have far-reaching consequences.
"Not only does it affect the lodges' business in terms of taking enquiries and bookings, but Stephen has to submit his Single Payment Scheme payments on-line from 2016 which also jeopardises the farming side of the business," she stated.
Mrs Pugh went on to add that Glastir funding will only be accepted online and that the situation could increase the financial burden that local farmers have to bear.
The impact of inadequate broadband on the farming sector is not restricted to Wales, with Kent-based farmer Charles Tasell revealing to Cable.co.uk recently that he remains sceptical as to whether the coalition government's Broadband Delivery UK project will work for all farmers.
He stated that the cost of the last ten per cent of connections will equal that of the previous 90 per cent, with the majority of this remainder made up of rural businesses, farms and homes.
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