Dwyfor Meirionnydd representatives urge action over poor broadband connectivity

 New data on broadband coverage and speeds reveal two villages in Dwyfor Meirionnydd amongst the worst for broadband download speeds in the UK.
 Figures released by the House of Commons Library reveal that Abererch tops the list for having the slowest download speed of all UK Council wards at 2.7Mb/s followed by Tudweiliog on the Llŷn Peninsula with 4.7Mb/s. Seven of the ten slowest areas for broadband speeds are in Wales. 
 The local Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts says rural householders are suffering disproportionally when it comes to broadband speeds, and has welcomed the separation of BT from Openreach as an opportunity to ‘properly invest in Wales’ digital infrastructure’ so that no home or business is left behind.     
 Over half of householders in the constituency (50.9%) receive broadband connection speeds of under 10Mb/s, the very minimum acceptable download speed set by the Government in the Digital Economy Bill. Figures also reveal 7.1% of householders receive the slowest possible speeds (under 2Mb/s) compared to the UK average of 2.9%.
 Dwyfor Meirionnydd has slower than average download speeds and worse superfast availability than the UK average. Other communities identified by constituents as being of particular concern include; Rhydyman, Harlech, Rhyd and Llanfrothen and Botwnnog to name a few.
 Liz Saville Roberts MP said,
These figures serve to reaffirm the disproportionate divide between those areas which are able to access superfast broadband and those rural communities struggling to achieve the Government’s own baseline download speed of 10Mb/s.”
It’s shocking that out of the ten worst performing areas for broadband speeds, seven are in Wales, with two in my constituency of Dwyfor MeirionnyddIndeedof those regions identified as having shockingly poor download speeds, North West Wales fares the worst.”
It should be appreciated that people living in rural areas find the glacial pace at which superfast broadband is being rolled-out is aggravated by all-round poor connectivity.”
Many of my constituents are unable to access what Ofcom recognises as the speed necessary to deliver an ‘acceptable user experience’, required for basic tasks such as web browsing, streaming and video calling.”
Upgrading digital infrastructure in rural areas is crucial to ensuring that the rural economy is not further disadvantaged. The current situation evidently puts businesses at a disadvantage & may make potential employers think twice about investing in such areas.”  
What we need in Wales is parity of access to the country’s telecoms infrastructure. I hope the separation of BT from Openreach will signal an end to the monopoly in broadband provision, which has so far failed to meet the specific needs of many rural communities.” 
The Regional AM and Welsh Assembly Shadow Spokesperson for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs stated:
“Over the last few months, I’ve had many opportunities to speak to residents of Rural Wales. Unfortunately, one problem creeps up time after time, which is the obvious lack of broadband provision in the area.
I’ve consistently asked questions to the Welsh Government and BT on behalf of my constituents in Mid and West Wales and as the Shadow Cabinet member for Rural Affairs, I believe that strong broadband connection is vital to ensure a booming rural economy in Wales.
The statistics on broadband speed come as no surprise as the Welsh Government has consistently failed to meet demands and ensure that Welsh rural residents have constant and strong access to broadband services.
If we are serious about ensuring a prosperous economy for Wales, including our rural regions, we must ensure that every part of Wales has reliable and fast access to broadband.”

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