Superfast broadband petition
Y Pwyllgor Deisebau | 15 Tachwedd 2016
 Petitions Committee | 15 November 2016




Research Briefing:

Petition number: P-05-720

Petition title: Hirwaun and Penderyn Community Council Petition for the Installation of Fibre Optic Broadband

Text of petition: We, the residents of Penderyn have signed the below petition to express our desire that Fibre Optic Broadband be installed in our village. The use of this service will transform our community, enhancing us the users in our social use of the internet as well as those who work within the village either in local business or those who work from home.

Background and Welsh Government action

BT is currently in the process of rolling out superfast broadband across Wales through the Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru project. The project is funded by the Welsh Government, the UK Government, the EU and BT’s own investment. In July 2015 the Welsh Government announced an extension to this project to cover an additional 42,000 premises: consequently the programme deadline was extended to summer 2017.

The Welsh Government runs two other schemes to improve broadband availability:

§    Access Broadband Cymru: grants of up to £800 are available where premises cannot currently access fast broadband;

§    Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher: grants of up to £10,000 are available to fund (or part-fund) the installation costs of new ultrafast connections for businesses in Wales

The Welsh Government has a £12.5 million five-year “Superfast broadband exploitation programme” to help businesses make the most of the opportunities offered by superfast broadband. This is being funded by the Welsh Government, the EU, local authorities and academic and private sources. 

The latest Ofcom data for broadband coverage (June 2015) shows that, since 2014 coverage of superfast broadband services has increased faster in Wales than any other UK nation:

National Assembly for Wales action

On 2 November 2016 there was a plenary debate into broadband access, called by the Welsh Conservatives. The following amended motion was subsequently passed:

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Welcomes the progress made in implementing the Superfast Cymru scheme which has brought high-speed broadband to over 610,000 premises across Wales and will provide access for an additional 100,000 further premises before project close in 2017.

2. Notes the progress of Access Broadband Cymru and its predecessor project which have provided broadband to over 6,500 premises across Wales using a range of innovative technologies.

 3. Recognises the importance of high speed broadband and digital connectivity to businesses, communities and the economy in all parts of Wales and notes the Programme for Government commitment to offer fast reliable broadband to every property in Wales.

4. Notes the Welsh Government's intention to:

a) work with Ofcom, the UK Government and network operators, to deliver universal access to high speed broadband and mobile coverage;

b) reform Permitted Development Rights in the planning system to promote telecoms infrastructure investment and network deployment;

c) reflect on the progress made by the Scottish Government through its mobile action in developing proposals in Wales; and

d) publish further information about extending fast reliable broadband access to every property in Wales.

 Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this briefing is correct at the time of publication. Readers should be aware that these briefings are not necessarily updated or otherwise amended to reflect subsequent changes.