Tuesday, 28th June, saw a Village Hall meeting attended by over 40 people devoted to issues surrounding the non availability of Super fast broadband in the village. In attendance to address the meeting was Martin Jones, BT programme manager for Wales. He is responsible for the roll out of a Welsh government plan to deliver the new broadband system to 95% of the country by June 2017. The 5% missing from the plan are areas located in the most remote locations in Wales. However, he reassuringly said that Llanfair is within the 95% for which there is currently a plan to provide coverage.
Llanfair residents have been concerned at delays in being able to receive the new service. At the meeting people spoke of their surprise and puzzlement at seeing the erection of many new telephone poles and the installation of a great deal of fibre optic wire between the poles without in some cases the material being joined together. Much of the infrastructure work referred to has been in place for many months, and yet no one has been able to access or subscribe to the new service.
Martin Jones was able to explain that the work undertaken was all part of the overall plan for the village, a plan which he said, would bring Super fast broadband by March 2017. He pointed out that BT were currently working in many areas of the country and had to achieve a target to bringing the new system to 95% of the country by June 2017, otherwise the government would apply financial penalties to the company. In Llanfair there is still work to be done, including arranging way-leaves with some householders, the erection of more posts and the joining of sections of fibre. He said that the Swansea area, which has oversight of the plan, has recently increased its number of planners by the employment of an additional 6, taking the total to 10 and that this will undoubtedly help deliver the building programme quicker.
The meeting was told that the delivery of the new broadband would be by an approach known as FTTP or Fibre to the Premises.
We were also advised that we would receive a list of postcodes for all properties that would be able to benefit from the Superfast broadband once the rollout for our area was complete, and you can now check the list here.
For people not on the list, or for people unwilling to wait for the anticipated rollout in March 2017, we were also told of alternative technologies that may be available, together with state funding to help with the installation. You can read about the possibilities here.
It was also stressed at the meeting that individuals needed to apply for the service once it was available, it was not an automatically installed service. Once the rollout was complete then you would need to choose from the (hopefully) several ISPs1 which will provide service in our area, enabling you to choose the package most appropriate to your needs.
Apart from dealing with matters concerning the Super fast broadband roll out, Martin Jones also answered questions about difficulties some people have or have had with their existing BT services.
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