Tuesday, 15 September 2009

BT fixed-line broadband solution a step in the right direction but serious issues remain says AM

BT has today announced a pilot of a new fixed-line solution for delivering broadband to some homes that are currently too far away from the local exchange to support broadband. Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates has welcomed the pilot which will see improvements to the Llanfyllin exchange, but insists that more action is needed to address whole communities of Montgomeryshire which still remain without a broadband connection.

Llanfyllin is one of only 10 sites selected for testing Broadband Enabling Technology (BET), a new fixed-line solution for delivering broadband over much longer distances. BET is capable of delivering a stable broadband service over lines up to 12km away from the exchange – more than double the current 5km limit for broadband.

Commenting, local AM Mick Bates stated:

“I welcome this pilot which I hope will provide broadband to those customers who are currently unable to receive it, due to long telephone lines where they are situated too far away from the exchange. The new fixed-line technology can boost broadband signals up to 12km, so it offers great potential for delivering a reliable broadband service to those in hard to reach areas.

“However, improving the Llanfyllin connection will not tackle the serious issues which remain in Montgomeryshire. Whole communities such as Staylittle, the Dyfi Valley and Dolanog have little or no internet connection and won’t be reached by this particular trial. Businesses and residents are suffering as a result, with individuals left isolated and unable to access online services and businesses unable to compete in local, national and global markets.

“There is much work still to be done to address the broadband not-spots in Montgomeryshire. This BT pilot is definitely a step in the right direction and if it works I hope that it can be rolled out to more and more communities across Wales. In the meantime it is important that we continue to investigate alternative solutions which may help to address the current broadband gap between rural and urban areas.”


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