Brecon Beacons village 'transformed' by community superfast broadband
A community in the Brecon Beacons has been transformed after residents pulled together to connect to superfast broadband, with the help of the Welsh Government.
Residents in the village of Crai now have broadband speeds of up to 32 Mbps compared with less than 1.5 Mbps previously.
The community came together through the management committee of their local village hall to look at ways of finding a solution to their slow broadband speeds. They investigated a number of possible options, before deciding on Microwave Wireless broadband.
They successfully secured funding for the project from the Welsh Government’s Access Broadband Cymru scheme. Although the community did not need to contribute financially many contributed in other ways such as giving up their free time to help and offering their expertise.
The service provider was Dyfed IT who also provided practical advice and guidance for the community.
Now over 80 properties in the community are connected to superfast broadband allowing residents to work from home, shop online, watch Netflix and other streaming services, and making it easier for children to do their homework.
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said:
While the vast majority of Wales can now access superfast broadband we know we need to be innovative to reach the final five per cent. One way is for communities to come together and find a solution which can then be funded by one of our grant and voucher schemes.
It really is a great way of bringing faster internet speeds to whole communities and it’s amazing to see how the community of Crai has been changed for the better by the superfast broadband they now enjoy.
We are also creating a new £10m community fund which will offer further assistance for communities in the same position as Crai.
Providing reliable, faster broadband is the responsibility of the UK Government, but we have stepped in where the market does not intend providing a service and there has been no UK Government intervention.
David Ross from Crai said:
If I were to give advice to another community looking to do something similar I would be happy to tell them that this approach has worked well for us. The initial set up and getting sufficient numbers of households and businesses to sign up was crucial to our success.
Considerable benefits were immediately realised by our local businesses such as farms and holiday accommodation providers. Other benefits soon became apparent with members of the community being able to work from home, where previously they had to travel to their offices.
Charles Weston, a farmer who works across two sites in Crai and is an operator of a busy holiday accommodation business said:
My working life has been transformed with the advent of superfast broadband to Crai.
Having a fast internet connection makes administrative tasks so much quicker, and enjoyable.
My previous internet speed was 0.4 Mbps but his has increased to 30. This is without the doubt one of the best things to have happened to Crai for a very long time.
Latest News from
Finance Minister calls on UK Government to ‘stop dragging its feet’ on APD powers for Wales17/01/2020 16:10:00
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has called on the UK Government to devolve Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Wales following the announcement of a UK review into APD and regional air connectivity.
Surge in university entries from Wales following reform of student finance17/01/2020 09:05:00
Figures published yesterday show the number of students from Wales enrolled at universities in the UK increased by 2.6% last year.
£89m fund supporting new ways of delivering care across Wales16/01/2020 14:05:00
An £89m Welsh Government fund is providing care closer to home for people of all ages, helping reduce pressure on hospitals and social care services across Wales, the Deputy Minister for Social Services Julie Morgan said during a visit to a school in Cardiff today.
Deeside-based KK Foods to expand15/01/2020 14:05:00
A leading frozen food manufacturer based in Deeside is set to expand and diversify with support from the Welsh Government, creating an additional 40 new jobs.
Public sector in Wales encouraged to offer paid leave for victims of domestic abuse15/01/2020 09:05:00
All public sector organisations in Wales are being encouraged by the Welsh Government to offer paid leave for victims of domestic abuse.
Wales’ interests must be fully considered post-Brexit – Lesley Griffiths14/01/2020 14:05:00
The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs has urged the UK Government to ensure Wales’ interests are fully considered in post-Brexit negotiations during a constructive first meeting since the UK General Election.
A new International Strategy for Wales14/01/2020 11:05:00
International Relations Minister Eluned Morgan will today launch Wales’ first International Strategy, promoting the country as an outward-looking nation ready to work and trade with the rest of the world.
£175 million budget boost for housing in Wales14/01/2020 10:05:00
Investment in new housing in Wales will reach £400 million in 2020-21, thanks to a £175 million budget boost from the Welsh Government, Housing Minister Julie James announced yesterday.
Go-Ahead for new Dyfi Bridge14/01/2020 09:05:00
The proposed new Dyfi Bridge on the A487 north of Machynlleth, has been given the go-ahead by Welsh Government Transport Minister Ken Skates.