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Survey sheds light on rural digital connectivity in Wales


A new survey aims to explore the current state of digital connectivity in Wales following concerns that farmers and rural businesses are being left behind.

The new survey was jointly launched by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes of Wales, the CLA, the Farmers Union of Wales, the NFU Cymru and the Wales YFC.

They are looking to explore how rural and agricultural businesses will cope with upcoming regulatory changes that will require them to complete paperwork online.

This is despite a survey conducted earlier this year showing that more than 50% of respondents in a rural area felt that the Internet they had access to was not fast and reliable.

The new survey, launched Monday, November 22, wants to explore what people think about the level of communication between themselves and their provider, as well as the cost-to-value ratio of the service.

The groups are also examining how proposed changes to online livestock registration systems will affect the farming community.

In a joint statement, they said: “Our latest survey found that less than 50% of those living in rural areas have standard broadband.

“Only 36% had super-fast broadband, with 66% saying they or their household had been affected by poor broadband.

“In comparison, 18% of their urban counterparts said they have access to standard broadband and 67% to very high speed.”

The groups said they had highlighted the findings to stakeholders, suppliers and Welsh government ministers over the summer.

“We are now eager to hear how well equipped the rural community is to deal with upcoming changes in agricultural regulations that will require them to complete large amounts of paperwork online,” they said.

“We encourage all of our members and anyone interested in digital connectivity to complete the survey to help us inform our next steps and communications with stakeholders going forward. “

The new survey of rural organizations can be viewed and completed online until December 12.