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Welsh Assembly and BT pledge to fill some Welsh notspots
Monday 07 June 2010 11:09:58 by John Hunt

The Welsh Assembly and BT will bring broadband to some rural notspots in Wales following news at the end of May that a pensioner living in Carmarthenshire was offered broadband with a £150,000 price tag. 8,500 premises have so far benefited from the joint funding of the deployment of broadband in Wales through RIBS (the Regional Innovative Broadband Support scheme), and the new areas to be included are Beulah and Ystrad Meurig in Ceredigion and Cil-y-Cwm and Llanfynydd in Carmarthenshire should be connected by the end of Summer. Six areas of Wales benefited under the RIBS scheme last year. Local residents are welcoming the news that they will be able to receive faster broadband.

"We are one of the few people who have broadband in the village but it is the lowest grade available and unbelievably slow, only very slightly faster than dial-up. It puts us at a terrible disadvantage to everyone else.

I am studying for my degree and it is desperately frustrating when you are trying to download journal articles; it is just too difficult.

My husband sometimes works from home and often the slow service can let him down.

Hopefully this work will have a twofold benefit: to upgrade the existing poor service and to give broadband to the rest of the village.

Maureen Worsley, Llanfynydd resident

The news that broadband not-spots are being filled in is always welcome news, however there are still many pockets where people can't get connected. If you live in one of these areas, you can report your broadband notspot on our notspot website which will also show you whether people who live nearby also suffer from similar problems.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
Any info on the technology used? can't find any anywhere.
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
I wonder how accurate the slow spots are on that map... there's one about 400yds away from my house, and i'm currently getting 18mb on Be. Of course it could be someone with a different exchange connection, or some other reason, but it does seem odd.
Posted by bookey over 7 years ago
I would say a lot of it is ISP driven slowness!
I know of locations on the TBB slow-spot map where people can get good speeds if they pick the right ISP and tweak the internal phone setup.
Posted by drteeth over 7 years ago
I have very little sympathy for those who chose to live in a rural area and then complain that they don't have urban trappings. Where will it stop? I wonder when somebody will complain that it is too long to drive an hour to the nearest hospital...what do we do then?
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
What about the people who choose to live in Welwyn Garden City, Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, Blackpool, who aren't in a cabled street, can't get ADSL, and their best bet broadband is a 3G modem hanging on to a 1 bar signal?
Posted by drteeth over 7 years ago
@MarkHampshire

I was only talking about rural areas where one would not expect to get services or facilities as one would in urban areas. Those examples you gave DO get my sympathy
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
bookey - I know 2 locations on the map that must be wrong.

Router on the master socket is a good start.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
drteeth, hope you enjoy turning your tap on. Remember its the people who live and work in rural areas you depend on for other things. er, like food, water, oxygen etc. The countryside doesn't look after itself you know, and the people who live there need access to the internet too. Their children need the educational benefits, and healthcare via the internet will save many hours of travel time to hospitals.
Posted by chrysalis over 7 years ago
amazing what a bit of publicity does.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 7 years ago
basic broadband for everyone, fair enough
what i hate is people that decide to move out to the sticks from the city, then decide they want to work from home as they don't like the commute but then start moaning like crazy that their connection isn't good enough to run the gazillion different things they used to run in their office in the city (probably fed from a very expensive private circuit)
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cd - what speed is needed for healthcare?
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
cd, if your farms produce all our food, water and oxygen (oh please) you must all be minted and be able to afford to put in high speed broadband yourselves. Or if not you could ask taxpayers to pay even more to subsidise it. Do kids need to be educated via the net? I'd say books are more important.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
Half the world's oxygen is produced by plankton in the oceans cd.

Nearly all of my water comes from the River Thames and the River Lee, so unless you also produce rivers out there I think Mother Nature is to thank.

Food - yep, 1 out of 3.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
the river thames doesn't run through the countryside then? and the other half of the worlds oxygen comes from where dixy? And captain I am not on about people who move out from the city, I am on about rural people who live and work in the villages and farms. And taxpayers don't subsidise the farmers, taxpayers subsidise cheap food. And they shouldn't, they should just pay a fair price, currently milk is less than 20p a litre so there isn't much profit in that.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
somerset, for healthcare to benefit there has to be ubiquitous connectivity, to monitor and help many different conditions saving inpatient appointments and overnight stays. To do more serious work a solid few meg is needed to do high quality video conferencing. If you want it to work then the connection has to be rock solid. Not the intermittent fits and starts that people a few km from exchanges experience. EHealthcare alone could save billions. But only if everyone has the connectivity.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
GMAN99 yes our kids do need the internet, as so much of their work is based there these days. We have kids getting detention cos the teachers don't believe them when they say they can't download coursework. The teachers say 'everyone' can get online. Well sorry, ours can't. And dial up is costing one family £300 a quarter. Another has bit the bullet and pays £40 a month for a gig of data transfer via a £700 satellite, but not many can afford either of those solutions.
Posted by jtthedevil over 7 years ago
@Dixie Thanks for letting us know about the enormous sinkhole in London where all the worlds water comes from. It must come up and push the water into the countryside to feed the plants which give us a small amount of oxygen and food. Horray for London!
Posted by jtthedevil over 7 years ago
Roll on 4G Broadband so us country folk can stop subsidising the townies and their next gen network.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Well £40 a month for broadband is quite a lot for an Internet connection I'll admit, so it sounds like two problems now. First up no ISP's/Telco's want to provide high speed access to rural areas as they won't see a return on it. Secondly even if they did put it in (in your example anyway) people aren't willing to pay very much for it?

Doesn't sound like a good plan to me.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 7 years ago
we won't get decent 4G either. no masts in rural areas, and those we have don't have fibre feeds so can't do much.
That is why rory cellan jones moans when his iphone loses connectivity when he travels. We need serious upgrades to the infrastructure, all the telcos are currently doing are milking the legacy networks and only investing in urban areas, thus disenfranchising the less lucrative areas. A bit like the water board only providing water around windermere and not manchester.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Telco's are spending where they will make a return you surely must see that? If we were talking a.n.other product and it cost 100k to build it in Country A and only 100 people were going to buy it, as opposed to building it in Country B at a cost of 30k and 3000 people were going to buy it you'd go for Country B. Its just basic business sense. Rural areas = very high set-up costs + very low widespread user base = low/negative returns, how can that make any sense to any business to invest in?
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
Was this a competitive process (EU journal etc)? It's not a surprise to see BT's name yet again, but it is a disappointment, especially given BT's history in Wales. There are plenty of places where there is a track record of "your exchange is not economic" is followed by a local competitor setting up which then is followed by BT enabling the exchange and disabling the competitor.

"A bit like the water board only providing water around windermere and not manchester."

Describes the LLU market perfectly.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"Rural areas = very high set-up costs + very low widespread user base = low/negative returns, how can that make any sense to any business to invest in?"

Obviously it doesn't make commercial sense, but why "regulate" the market in such a way that the incumbent is pretty much obliged to provide service in the expensive areas, while its competitors cherry-pick the profitable areas. Is this a recipe for better service, or is it a recipe for a race to the gutter, seeing which big name LLU ISP can offer worst service and longest bundled lock-in ?

Ofcon should be ashamed of themselves.
Posted by themanstan over 7 years ago
Could have sworn it was the sun, oceans and clouds that make rain and not people working in the countryside... and as for oxygen even in the absence of people working in the countryside nature is pretty good at doing it without any help... actually a lot better... irrespective of the usual science twaddle from the dangerously informed, supplying services to people in rural locations is more expensive and it has to be paid for, end of story.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
"supplying services to people in rural locations is more expensive and it has to be paid for, end of story" Exactly, and that's any service so I don't know why the constant drama. I think the only feasible solution for broadband for these areas is wireless broadband, Ireland has a lot of it already. FTTC/FTTH just isn't gonna happen for many many years
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
jtthedevil - just stating the obvious - Mother Nature produces water and oxygen, farmers use water to grow food. Sorry if I'm stealing someone's thunder here but rural dwellers aren't to thank for oxygen and water, where you live is, and in my case not even that, unless you guys are trying to claim credit for the rivers Thames and Lee?
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
There's a lot to be said for wireless, regardless of the zealot opinion that only fibre will do unless there is unlimited funding it's a case of the most viable technology to get the job done be it wireless, fibre or a combination of the above.

Going otherwise runs the risk of extremely high bandwidth MANs with tiny backhauls to the rest of the world.
Posted by mishminx over 7 years ago
Is there some magical mythical reason as to why the parents of these unbelievable children cannot contact the school on the child's behalf?

If there is no local library provision or similar source of internet access. Then perhaps parents would do better to ask that the school make provisions for distributing the material. Either on usb drives or CD/DVD.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
cd - please let us know where these schools are.
Posted by c_j_ over 7 years ago
"There's a lot to be said for wireless"

Such as? Yes, it's an opportunity for local broadband for local people, and that has worked in a few places.

Let's look at that bigger picture. There was an auction of regional fixed wireless broadband licenses and a handful of companies won contracts. Then another company bought all their licences and Ofcon let them run away without delivering anything.

Then there's the Intel-funded Pipex Wireless (now renamed Freedom4), also nearly invisible unless you're in one of the two or three areas they cover.

It's not an ideal track record.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
If electricity worked like ADSL then people living a mile or two away from the substation might not have enough power to run a fridge and a kettle at the same time. We'd think that was insane, but that's because we consider a stable supply of electricity at a voltage within a certain range to be essential.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
And where would we be if ADSL hadn't been invented?
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
There's a chance we'd be much further forward, because the stopgap that was/is ADSL over copper/aliminium would never have been there to fill in the time/become semi-permanent, so fibre would have to have been installed, probably as a "Network Rail" type setup.
Posted by macbits2000 over 6 years ago
DREETH.
"I have very little sympathy for those who chose to live in a rural area and then complain that they don't have urban trappings. Where will it stop?"
Don't be such a prat!
At least half the people in our village were born here, I have lived here all my life.
YOU THINK WE SHOULD MOVE SO AS TO BENEFIT FROM THE TECHNOLOGY ??
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 6 years ago
It's obvious innit - everyone who doesn't live in line of sight of the nearest heliograph tower deserves to live in the Dark Ages
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 6 years ago
Btw according to my son, a PhD student at Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth appears to be a sort of notspot in Wales. The line stats for his flat show that if he were able to connect via BE instead of BT, he would be able to sync at about 18-20Mb/s quite happily all the day and from our experience he'd be able to D/L at close to that rate from good servers.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 6 years ago

With BT MaxDSL his sync rate is 7616kb/s, but the best D/L rate he gets is 3Mb/s while during 'peak' periods he gets typically 100-200kb/s often dropping to 10-20kb/s. Friends report the same rubbish, presumably down to thoroughly inadequate BT backhaul or perhaps even centrals causing massive contention once numbers wanting to use the network build up a bit
Posted by warweezil over 6 years ago
People Like Dr Teeth make a lot of assumptions. This Rural area supplies a huge perecntage of the gas imported to the UK via 2 LNG terminals, we also have a large Oil refinery and soon a Power Station. Can you imagine the howls of rage from people like him if city dwellers were charged a premium for thier fuels etc of had thier usage rationed?
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