A community in Meirionnydd which has been promised superfast broadband on at least twelve separate occasions has been told that work to roll-out the service has now been put on hold after BT Openreach failed to complete the work within their contract agreement with Welsh Government.
Villagers in Rhydymain have been plagued by lapsed deadlines and guarantees which are never met. There are now concerns amongst the community that work will be delayed indefinitely with cables left dangling from telegraph poles.
Following a meeting with local people in Rhydymain, Dwyfor Meirionnydd Member of Parliament Liz Saville Roberts is calling on the Welsh Government to ‘get their act together’ and appoint a provider who will be able to deliver the roll-out without further delay.
Liz Saville Roberts MP said,
‘Having been repeatedly assured that work to bring superfast broadband to Rhydymain was on track, local people are justifiably frustrated with the catalogue of broken promises that has brought the work to a standstill.’
‘I raised this pressing issue with the Welsh Government when BT Openreach failed to meet their tenth deadline in July. Now their contract with the Welsh Government has expired, leaving the local community high and dry.’
‘This is a sorry state of affairs which serves to highlight that people living in rural areas find the glacial pace at which superfast broadband is being rolled-out is aggravated by lapsed deadlines, broken promises and communication blackouts.’
‘Ultimately, it’s the public purse that’s paying BT Openreach to upgrade our national infrastructure, but in rural communities like mine, many continue to have a woeful or non-existent broadband service.’
‘I urge the Welsh Government to get their act together and provide rural communities and businesses still waiting for superfast broadband such as those in Rhydymain, with firm assurances that this will not be reciprocated when they come to award their new contract.’
Local businessman Mike Kirwin said,
‘After five years of broken promises regarding the roll out of superfast broadband, it’s incredibly frustrating to witness Openreach walking away from their half-finished job.’
‘Cables have been left dangling from telegraph poles and no one locally has benefited from the massive public subsidy awarded to them.’
Principal of Arran Hall Duncan Pritchard added,
‘Superfast broadband would make a huge difference to Arran Hall in terms of running the school and more importantly to the youngsters we have here.’
‘The children in our care would benefit from fast and reliable internet for educational purposes.’
‘The operational running of the school, with eighty six employees would also be enhanced as we need to run servers and receive/send information electronically.’
‘I most certainly feel that the failure to connect Arran Hall to superfast broadband is depriving our children from the best education possible.’