Doubts over 99.4% broadband availability estimates in Wales
UK broadband coverage figures, when mentioned, are always brought into question and to some extent, until every telephone line has been tested by trying to get ADSL working over it and alternative broadband solutions ruled out, any coverage figure will remain an estimate.
The reality for areas like Wales where apparently whole villages are unable to get broadband would seem to go against a figure of 99.4% for those who can get broadband in Wales. But when you do the maths and realise that out of a population of 2,958,600 the 0.6% amounts to 17751 people, you can see the scope for clusters with no access to exist.
The topic has arisen since according to a PA News wire story on the Channel 4 website, the Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones of the Welsh Assembly has said that money will be made available to eliminate broadband not-spots in the countryside. We hope that this will also extend to the not-spots that can also exist in towns and cities.
The Government's intention is to ensure that adequate funding is provided to ensure that this problem is addressed.
In relation to the whole of Wales the number is small, but for those people who can't get it I understand it's a big issueIeuan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister for Wales
The numbers affected may be small but as websites slowly creep up in size, the ability to do simple things like submit meter readings or pay bills over dial-up becomes ever harder and both consumers and businesses are affected by not having access to a reasonable broadband connection.
The Regional Innovative Broadband Support Scheme, which was run by the Welsh Assembly, has a table giving details of the larger not-spot areas identified so far. If you live in Wales and cannot get broadband or know someone who cannot, visit the Broadband Notspot Registration Wales scheme to register.