Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Broadband for 'not-spot' villages

Broadband access is welcomed, but "long-overdue"

Villagers who complained they were living in a communications "black hole" have been told they will have access to a broadband internet connection.

Residents at Gwytherin, Conwy, had threatened legal action against BT, partly because of a lack of broadband.

But the Welsh Assembly Government has confirmed it is one of six "not-spots" in Wales which will be upgraded.

Five other locations in west Wales have also been earmarked to have broadband access.

The assembly government confirmed that "preparatory work will start immediately to 'broadband enable' the lines serving the west Wales communities of Reynalton, Saundersfoot, Llanpumsaint and Bronwydd Arms, Cilcennin in Ceredigion and Gwytherin in north Wales".

It is vitally important that businesses and families have good access to broadband in all parts of Wales
Ieauan Wyn Jones, Deputy First Minister

Clwyd West MP David Jones said: "This is excellent news for the villagers of Gwytherin, which is presently the largest community in north Wales without a proper internet service."

North Wales AM Janet Ryder said: "The news that BT is finally upgrading communications is very welcome, if overdue."

The work will be done as part of the assembly government's Regional Innovative Broadband Support (RIBS) contract with BT.

BT's access network division Openreach is funding half of the project.

The announcement was made by Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, who said: "It is vitally important that businesses and families have good access to broadband in all parts of Wales.

"The Regional Innovative Broadband Support project is tasked with this but for technical and commercial limitations it has been difficult to achieve this in parts of the nation.

"We are working hard to assess the exact scale of the problem and how best to solve it, and today's announcement demonstrates a commitment to getting the job done."

Ann Beynon, director, BT Wales, said: "The RIBS contract has provided crucial support for accelerating such work in less commercially-viable areas for the benefit of customers and businesses alike."

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