The situation in Wales with respect to next generation broadband (what many refer to as super-fast broadband) is a lot clearer with the release of maps showing where intervention is most needed. The maps show that over the next three years there are no commercial plans for superfast broadband in Merthyr Tydfil, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys and in others large areas with no next generation operator at all.
The definition of next generation broadband in use by the Welsh Government is a service of 30 Mbps or faster. In essence they are talking of a service that is the next generation above ADSL2+, which confusingly is regularly featured in the regional press as a next generation service as BT Wholesale rolls out its ADSL2+ service. This roll-out often duplicates the presence of ADSL2+ from providers like TalkTalk (which is available via a wholesale network) and Sky.
The publication of the maps is meant to provide a four week window for broadband operators to come forward and indicate if they are going to invest in any of the postcode areas, detailing timeline, likely number of properties passed and whether the network would meet the 30 Mbps minimum target, plus what upstream speed will be on offer. These responses have to made no later than 5pm on 23rd February 2012. Since this may reveal confidential roll-out plans, there is an option for responses to be kept confidential.