11 APR 2016


It's going to take another 18 months to complete the delivery of superfast broadband in Pembrokeshire, the head of Superfast Cymru told a special meeting set up by Simon Hart MP.

About 80 people attended the meeting in Whitland Memorial Hall which was addressed by Ed Hunt, director of Superfast Cyrmu and Alwen Williams, Director of BT Wales.

"Broadband, or the lack of it, is the number one consumer issue that residents ask me about," said Mr Hart. "This was an invitation-only event for people who have contacted me in the past about the problem and for community representatives. I think that the numbers speak for themselves."

Mr Hunt explained that 500 Kms of fibre optic cabling has been laid in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire as part of BTs scheme to bring superfast (24 mbps and above) to 96% of homes.

"There will be a second sweep around Wales after the initial delivery to get to those properties we fail to reach on the first round," he explained.

However he added that take up of superfast has been patchy, especially in Carmarthenshire. "Seventy per cent of the constituency has been enabled but the take up is poor, especially in Carmarthenshire," he said. "Only 12 % are choosing to connect to it in Carmarthenshire and in Pembrokeshire the take up figure is 25%."

He explained that residents need to check on www.superfast-cymru.com to find out when their nearest cabinet is going to be enabled. If your cabinet has been enabled and your speed is still slow or if the website says your area is "in scope" then you may want to explore other methods of getting broadband such as satellite or wireless, with help from a Welsh Assembly grant, he added.

Concerned residents from communities including Llansteffan, Summerhill, Llandowror, Lampeter Velfrey and East Williamston attended the meeting alongside county councillors, business owners and community council clerks.

Lizzie Lesnianski, clerk to Martletwy Community Council, said: "The website originally told us that we would have superfast in January 2016, that slipped to June, then December and now there is no date, you just keep moving the goalposts on us."

Other residents, particularly from Meidrim and Lawrenny, criticized the state of the copper wire infrastructure of existing BT lines.

"We would like to have landlines that work reliably and just 0.5mgbps of broadband, but there are constant problems with them, it's galling that you are concentrating on getting superfast to others when we don't have a basic service" said one Meidrim resident.

Mr Hart told the meeting: "We are all here not just because we don't get superfast but also because of confusion about whether we will ever get it and if so, when."


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Simon Hart MP
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