Wales extends Broadband Support Scheme
The Broadband Support Scheme in Wales has offered £1000 grants to residents, businesses and third sector organisations since 2010 and has seen 2,038 applications that have been approved at a cost of £1,662,709. A further 232 applications are being assessed. The scheme was due to end at the end of March 2012, so the extension to cover the gap between then and when the Next Generation Broadband service will start delivering ensures small businesses and residents do not suffer. The winning bidder of the Next Generation project is set to be announced in March 2012.
The £1000 grants don't just have to be spent on individual solutions such as a satellite connection, the St Brides Wentlooge project has seen a microwave backhaul link being used to supply a connection to a street cabinet just outside Nellive Park. The project is an example of a successful community led application to the scheme involving some fifty people. Spectrum-Internet are offering services over this link from £15 a month for 4 Mbps, 5GB usage through to £35 for an 8 Mbps connection with 100GB usage allowance. A prioritised throughput service for businesses with 150GB allowance is available for £45+VAT. The set-up fee is £999.99 for the service, which for those eligible is covered by the grant.
"Running a number of businesses requires a strong, fast, reliable internet connection and it has been essential while setting up Tiny Rebel Brewing Company. We are in constant communication with the Tiny Rebel Studios in Los Angeles, a games software manufacturer which is run by my son and our graphic and website designers in Canada,
Our new connection is tremendous. It means our download speeds have increased dramatically enabling us to work more efficiently and improve communication, especially with our overseas suppliers. "Ian Cummings, Director of Evol (Wales) Ltd
Ian's latest venture is a micro-brewery that lays claim to being the only micro brewery in Newport - Tiny Rebel Brewing Company, which has grown from development brews in the garage.
"The St Brides project is one of many community schemes we are supporting around Wales and demonstrates how effective the Broadband Support Scheme is in eradicating notspots and supporting communities to deliver a sustainable broadband service to rural areas of Wales."Business Minister for Wales, Edwina Hart