It appears that the previous £2m of funding to address not and slow spots in Wales may not have been enough, as a new broadband grant scheme has been setup by the Welsh Government to address those parts of Wales that are either outside the 96% planned intervention area for its BT project or plans have simply not been finalised in the area.
The grants are to be available for up to £1,000 and will run until 31st March 2016, and will only be available to those who currently get fixed line broadband speeds of under 2 Mbps. The Access Broadband Scheme is very sketchy on details currently, with the site where people can apply for funding returning a 404 error page, which is hardly the most confidence inspiring start, but then there are two weeks left until 1st October for the scheme to start taking applications. For now beyond the news announcement there is a few paragraphs about Access Broadband Cymru on the main broadband site.
We believe the scheme may have some £4m of funding behind it, which sounds a lot but will not stretch very far if lots of applications take the full £1,000 of funding. It may be that this scheme is intended to be the main way that the Universal Service Commitment will be met in the 4% outside the scope of the much larger project, which as a way of targeting funding at the those who want/need it is perhaps worthy, but ignores a key aim behind the USC which is to ensure all properties can get some form of vaguely usable broadband.