WORK has started on a community broadband program covering several remote areas of the Powys, which will involve an investment of over Â£ 250,000 and connect over 150 properties.
The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Welsh Government are funding the project, covering Llanafan Fawr, near Builth Wells, and Llanwrthwl and Elan Village, near Rhayader, via the UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme , which will be delivered by entrepreneur Broadway Partners. The project is also supported by the Powys County Council (PCC).
Survey work has recently started, and construction of the fiber to the premises is expected to begin later this year.
The Llanafan Fawr and Llanwrthwl Community Broadband Scheme was set up three years ago with the goal of bringing ultra-fast broadband to the region and is now led by a steering group made up of representatives from both communities, including the Councilor County of the Region David Price and the Council’s Community Broadband Manager.
Councilor Beverley Baynham, PCC’s portfolio holder for Corporate Governance and Regulatory Services, said: âThe community group, which led this project, and Cllr Price, are to be commended for their efforts to improve the connectivity of residents and businesses.
“It’s been a long journey for them, but should bring great benefits when completed and pave the way for other similar projects across the county.”
Cllr Iain McIntosh, PCC Economic Regeneration, Planning and Housing Portfolio Holder, added: âI am delighted that we were able to help Cllr Price and the Llanafan Fawr and Llanwrthwl communities to make their broadband program a reality.
âIt is essential that we have a level playing field when it comes to access to digital services, and that businesses and communities in Powys have the same opportunities as those in other more urban areas of the UK.
âI would like to encourage other poorly connected communities to contact me to find out how they can follow in the footsteps of others, by setting up similar projects in their region as well. ”
The local authority has supported the Llanafan Fawr and Llanwrthwl community broadband program as part of its Digital Powys project, which aims to help businesses and communities stay connected. This is also part of its transformation program to achieve the aspirations of its âVision 2025â business improvement plan.
Community broadband programs also aim to achieve similar results in other parts of the county, including Aberedw and Glascwm, also near Builth, and Dwyriw and Manafon in the north of the county.
If you would like help setting up your own community broadband program in Powys, or joining an existing program, contact Reece Simmons, the council’s community broadband manager, on the council’s regeneration team. , by e-mail at [email protected].
More information on improving your broadband connection, including grants and support, is available on the council’s website; visit https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/10258.