Leading Welsh ISP eXwavia is delivering broadband capability of up to 100Mbps in Llanrug & Bethel, Gwynedd.
To date, many parents of the children here at Ysgol Llanrug and Brynrefail struggle at home with snail paced broadband which in turn impacts on the learning and researching capability of both primary and secondary children.
21st century pupils need fast internet access to do their homework, prepare for exams and research work, said Robin Williams, headmaster, Ysgol Llanrug & Community Broadband Champion.
Robin continued: The Virtual Learning Environments of today need fast access and download speeds because children are required to work from these VLEs at home. With the new broadband service, the interaction between school and home will become seamless for the children, enabling them to access, download and stream online multimedia study materials and mock exam papers.
As a school, we are striving to develop a green school and one way of achieving this is to replace home school literature, including newsletters and notifications for parents, with online sharepoints and dropboxes. This will significantly reduce our photocopying and printing costs.
Our iPad 1 1 project will also benefit greatly because the children will experience the same broadband speed at home as they do at school.
Sion Jones, councillor for Bethel is also appreciative of eXwavia for making fast broadband a reality for these communities, he said: We live in such a rural area of Wales where broadband is extremely slow, so I am very much looking forward to the residents getting this new service.
There has been a huge demand for it and hopefully it will boost local businesses back in the community.
eXwavia is doing more than simply delivering superfast broadband to subscribers; free hotspots for key community buildings; no up to speeds (speed ordered is the speed received); and no reliance on copper phone lines or costly fibre installations, MD Annette Burgess said.
Ms Burgess continued: It s fabulous to work closely with communities such as Llanrug and Bethel, and whilst government targets are ambitious, I am determined not to make rural communities wait until 2015 to achieve superfast speeds.
CUMBERLAND U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski met with the Garrett County commissioners on Wednesday at Canal Place to discuss Hurricane Sandy, the North/South Appalachian Highway and CyberWatch.
We were ill prepared for Hurricane Sandy, said Commissioner Jim Raley. One of the problems we had with Hurricane Sandy was the failure of generators. A generator that failed had filled the Dennett Road Manor nursing center with smoke, which prompted an evacuation of its 100 residents in the height of a snowstorm, according to Raley.
Mikulski suggested that periodic generator drills be conducted at critical care facilities. We were so concerned about you, said Mikulski. I have never seen anything like Hurricane Sandy.
Raley said an after-action analysis was done and that at Gov. Martin O Malley s urging a new director of emergency management was appointed. Former director Brad Frantz had retired and was retained on a contractual part-time basis and O Malley thought a full-time director was needed, according to Raley.
The new emergency operations center at the Garrett County Airport is part of the county s preparedness in the case of an emergency, said Raley. During Hurricane Sandy, there was a makeshift emergency operations center in the courthouse. Mikulski questioned what John Frank III, the new director of emergency management, needs from the federal government for the center.
Frank said the center needs a generator and that he had applied for a Maryland Emergency Management Agency grant for it. The estimated cost of the generator is $105,000. The grant would provide 75 percent funding with a 25 percent cost share.
The airport is also trying to find funding for a generator, so that each generator could provide for different power needs or could be used as a backup. The generators would have a switch in case one fails, said Frank. The center is also in need of phones, computers, broadband and a GIS mapping system, according to Frank.
Ultimately, I want to be at a point where I can preplan for an incident that is coming, give out the warning and get all of the department heads together, said Frank. Frank will be meeting with MEMA today. Mikulski requested that Frank ask MEMA to do an inventory of items that are necessary for the center.
Let s not self-censor on the basis of costs, said Mikulski. It won t be all done in one grant or one application. MEMA could partner with the Department of Housing and Community Development for block grants, according to Mikulski.
Mikulski indicated that she felt that the communication during Hurricane Sandy worked well and asked Raley if he felt the same. Absolutely. The governor had already done conference calls with us and knew that we had 80 percent of our population without power and we had roads that were impassable because of the power situation, said Raley.
Mikulski also questioned what Raley needs from her office regarding the North/South Appalachian Highway. Raley said the middle connect from Somerset to Meyersdale, Pa., is complete and that Pennsylvania needs to be convinced to complete the 7-mile stretch between Meyersdale and the Maryland state line. It s the only corridor in Maryland that needs to be completed.
This is Pennsylvania s chance to really finish one of those corridors and get us ultimately further to a true north/south, said Raley. Maryland has its 2- to 3-mile section to Interstate 68 to complete and has $100 million in Appalachian Regional Highway monies to complete it, said Raley. Mikulski also suggested that Garrett College look into CyberWatch, an Advanced Technological Center of the National Science Foundation, located at a separate facility at Prince George s Community College.
CyberWatch deals with cyber security. In Maryland there are 19,000 cyber security jobs available, 76 percent of which can be filled by people with bachelor of arts degrees, who then can receive certificate training, according to Mikulski. CyberWatch helps community colleges nationwide establish their curriculums to help people come into these fields, said Mikulski.
For free, the president and dean can connect to CyberWatch and learn what s going on in the world of community colleges.
Many agencies, organisations and businesses in Bristol recognise the vital importance of next generation broadband in building a sustainable economic future for the City.
Here in Bristol there is an 81% variance between the highest and lowest available speeds.
As access to broadband becomes a necessity, and more services are developed for ultrafast infrastructure, this type of inequity could develop into a connectivity divide whereby business and households in underserved neighbourhoods are put at a disadvantage.
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