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County 'notspot' broadband survey

15 April 08 09:40 GMT

A survey has been launched in Ceredigion to gauge how many residents have access to broadband.

Ceredigion Council said its Notspots project also aimed to identify areas with poor mobile telephone reception.

Last year regeneration group Mid Wales Partnership said black holes in rural Wales' network put it in danger of falling behind the rest of the UK.

In neighbouring Powys there have been calls for an inquiry into "unacceptably low" broadband access.

Mark Elliott, assistant director of the council's corporate performance, urged people in Ceredigion to take part in the survey.

"Having a high-speed broadband internet connection means the death of distance as you can begin to access many services online," he said.

'Cost-effective'

"I urge all citizens to complete the survey form so we can establish whether there is a digital divide occurring and where it is."

In October last year Mid Wales Partnership, which is now known as the Central Wales Economic Partnership, said there was "urgent planning and investment" needed to improve high speed internet connection.

It said there were "notspots" unable to get broadband of any description.

But British Telecom said at the time that more than 99% of people in Wales could access broadband, although a small number could not, and it was working with the assembly government on the problem.

The Welsh Assembly Government has said previously that its regional innovative broadband support project was in talks with the telecommunications industry to "determine appropriate, cost-effective solutions for providing broadband" in blackspot areas.

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