The Welsh government have announced an extension to their Broadband Support Scheme which began last year with £2m of funding to help those who live in a broadband not-spot gain access to broadband. A funding arrangement was established to help individual applicants who could not get broadband faster than 512Kbps through a grant of £1000 per applicant. The extension will see those who live in a broadband slow-spot, meaning that anyone with a broadband speed of below 2Mbps, can apply for the funding. So far, around 800 applications have been made which has released £600,000 of the original £2m of funding.
"Consumer expectations these days expect services that are far faster than perhaps up to half a Mbps of in the past and certainly now expectations now rising to levels of 2Mbps. We welcome the announcement this morning by the Welsh Government regarding the increase in the threshold (to 2Mbps) where communities or individuals can qualify for this subsidy.
We also welcome the fact this subsidy is technology neutral. It allows people to access the most appropriate technology for the area where they live and also in effect now it will reach the slow spots."Hywel William, (Chairman) Wales Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA)
Whilst the programme funds are released based on a set amount of money per applicant, communities can pool this together to allow the money to go towards a larger investment in the area. This could be, for example, a solution to deliver the community broadband through a wireless network. Applicants need to have clear quotes for the cost of the installation to ensure that the funding isn't abused.