Get online with Broadband Support Scheme

27 Oct 2010 03:53 PM

265 applications have been received for the Welsh Assembly Government’s Broadband Support Scheme since its launch in July.

The scheme enables individuals and groups in remaining Welsh broadband ‘notspots’ to approach internet service providers directly, with support of Assembly Government funding.

Support is available for up to a maximum of £1,000 for individual premises to help with the set-up and installation costs of a broadband connection.  

Communities that apply for funding can pool money to find the best solution and several around the country are already exploring this route. The scheme is designed to help everyone from the home internet user to businesses and farmers to specialist services like mountain rescue groups.

Initial funding of around £2 million has been allocated, with discussions now under way to access European assistance from the Rural Development Plan.

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Mr Jones said,

"The Welsh Assembly Government is determined to find ways of opening up access for the relatively few areas in Wales that remain unable to benefit from broadband services.

"If Wales is to have a competitive infrastructure then access to broadband is vital. This scheme will allow businesses and individuals to get online and develop our knowledge economy.

"Through our new approach to supporting the Welsh economy we have made a commitment to ensure that every business in Wales has access to Next Generation Broadband, which will improve speed and connectivity further."

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said,

"Lack of broadband provision was highlighted as a key issue for those living in 'deep rural' areas of Wales in a major Welsh Assembly Government-commissioned piece of research published earlier this year.

“I stated then that broadband provision was a priority area for action, and am very pleased to see the keen uptake of the Broadband Support Scheme across the country. Access to broadband is vital if rural businesses are to compete effectively and if rural communities are to thrive."

A broadband ‘not-spot’ is usually the result of the distance a person lives from their local telephone exchange – the further away they are, the weaker the broadband signal becomes.

The Assembly Government is particularly keen to receive applications that deliver the best sustainable solutions to local broadband problems – so ensuring higher speed connectivity, rather just than a basic service.

The scheme is technology neutral and can contribute towards ADSL, 3G, wi-fi or satellite solutions.

Anyone now interested who meets the scheme criteria can apply for support, with application forms available through the Assembly Government’s website, by telephone or by email.

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