Campaigner criticises slow Tregaron broadband

Friday, August 19th 2011
Lack of reliable broadband is holding back businesses in the area, lobbyist Duncan Taylor has said.
Campaigner criticises slow Tregaron broadband
Broadband in the Welsh town of Tregaron is hindering local businesses, according to the leader of a campaign to bring better connectivity to the area.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, Duncan Taylor said low-speed and unreliable broadband lines are holding back economic growth and forcing residents to miss out on services that people in other parts of the UK take for granted.

"The problem is that it holds back businesses in the area. It's very damaging to business," he stated.

In order to use the online streaming service BBC iPlayer, Mr Taylor has set the application to download a show overnight and hope that his connection does not fail.

"It takes too long to sit and watch the little round circle constantly coming on while you try to watch a programme," the broadband campaigner added.

To tackle the problem, the community is planning to install its own mast to bring wireless broadband coverage to the area, Mr Taylor revealed. The bulk of the funding is already in place and planning permission has been given, meaning the transmitter could be up and running towards the end of next year.

Recent research from Ofcom, the UK's telecoms industry watchdog, illustrates the severity of Tregaron's broadband connectivity woes. Across the county of Ceredigion, a quarter of households receive speeds of less than 2Mbps and super-fast broadband penetration is said to be at zero per cent.

The typical modem sync speed is 4.8Mbps, well below the Welsh and UK averages of 6.5Mbps and 7.5Mbps respectively, while broadband take-up is at 61 per cent.

Lampeter is another Ceredigion town struggling with slow broadband, according to local councillor Rob Philips, who said the community is lagging behind other parts of the UK in terms of internet access.

"Obviously we are always playing catch-up with the technology because by the time we get it other places are on faster broadband," he explained. 

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