Elin Jones reacts to Welsh Government’s next steps in Ceredigion broadband rollout


Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP’s offices have been working together to ensure that Ceredigion is prioritised in the funding of Broadband by the Welsh and UK Governments. This week saw a long awaited statement from the Welsh Government Minister responsible for Broadband in Wales, Julie James AM, outlining the next steps in rollout of Superfast Broadband.

Click here to read the statement in full. 

The statement outlines that the premises remaining to be connected have been split into ‘Lots’, with Ceredigion a part of the West Wales and Valleys Lot, Lot number 3, and that it will be made clear which properties will be connected in this rollout.

Further to this, Elin Jones AM has been told to expect approximately 1000 Ceredigion properties to be in the lot, and that they are due to be connected over the next three years.

Following the statement and a meeting with Julie James, Elin Jones AM said:

“Unfortunately, the statement doesn’t give me sufficient reassurance that we will see 100% rollout in Ceredigion in the near future.

“I understand that the Welsh Government is yet to complete discussions with BT / Openreach on the previous Superfast Cymru contract, and this may result with more properties connected in order to fulfil this contract.

“However, the Minister is keen to emphasise that the negotiations with BT have been very difficult. It’s also fair to say that Welsh Government is disappointed that BT / Openreach are not offering to do more extensive work, even with funding available to them.

“I met with the Minister two weeks ago to discuss this statement and I will meet with her again in the next few weeks to discuss properties in Lot 3. I also hope to discuss how we plan for community solutions in areas that will not be reached. This may well involve alternative providers and using a mixture of fibre and wireless solutions.

“None of this is satisfactory in my view, but I’m keen to work with every community in Ceredigion to see how we can get Welsh Government money to support this, even where there is no formal contract with BT.”

Last week also saw the UK Government’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, give his autumn budget, which included a promise of £200 million to rural broadband. Elin Jones and Ben Lake will now seek to clarify whether any of this money will be spent in Wales, and how.

Do you want to be added to Elin Jones and Ben Lake’s database of constituents seeking a broadband connection? Email [email protected] for more information.

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