Welsh Government urged to prioritise rolling out high speed broadband to those stranded at home with poor connections

Clwyd West MS Darren Millar is calling on the Welsh Government to prioritise rolling out high speed broadband to those who are currently stranded at home without decent connections.

In recent weeks, Darren has been contacted by a number of constituents living in rural areas who are struggling to work and study from home amid the Covid-19 pandemic due to slow internet speeds.

One resident living in rural Denbighshire told Darren that it had taken his son over 10 hours to upload an assignment to submit to his University and said the last seven weeks have shown the current broadband provision in rural communities to be “totally inadequate.”

Darren is therefore urging Welsh Ministers to prioritise rolling out high speed broadband to such households.

He said:

“Due to Covid-19 more people than ever are currently working and studying from home and this is likely to continue for many months to come. For most, internet speeds are good and they experience little or no problems, but for those living in rural areas who were let down by the Welsh Government’s Superfast Broadband rollout it can be a nightmare.

“I have received a number of emails from constituents who are really struggling to carry out their work or studies because internet connections are so poor.

“Some of them are isolated due to health problems and will have no option but to continue working from home even once lockdown restrictions are lifted and therefore high speed broadband is essential for them.

“The same is true for students who depend on good internet connections to continue their education during lockdown. It’s not fair that they should fall behind because of where they live.

“Times are currently difficult enough for people without this added problem and I am therefore calling on the Welsh Government to put those stranded at home with poor connections first when rolling out high speed broadband. As one resident told me “the requirement of a high-speed broadband  is now not a “luxury” but a “must have”. These people simply can’t afford to wait.”