Decent Broadband In Wales At Last!

Many people in Wales have been frustrated by poor internet connectivity over recent years. The UK as a whole has received better and better broadband through mobile and fixed line solutions and Wales has been left somewhat behind in the service that they have received. However, thankfully for those living in the 6 Nations Rugby Championingcountry, solutions are arriving.

UK Average Broadband Speeds

When we look at average broadband speed from recent years we see a steady increase.

From below 6 megabits per second just a few short years ago 2013 has seen us enter into double digit averages. This is great news for UK consumers who have been able to do more intensive activities on their broadband and get more people doing them at the same time.

Distances from Telephone Exchanges

The majority of the UK consumer base still connects to broadband through the copper cables of the BT network. As the population gets to understand the benefits of fibre, and it stretches over more of the UK, we will see a change in the profile onto superfast broadband over fibre.

Copper cabling loses internet speed over distance.

The single most important factor in the speed of ADSL attainable on a healthy line is the distance from the telephone exchange. Those lucky ones living within a few hundred metres can achieve top class internet speeds. Those living further away from their nearest exchange may struggle to get an connection at all.

Rural parts of Wales have historically suffered from very poor ADSL broadband.

A broadband comparison of the average connectivity speeds attainable in Northern Wales and most of the rest of the UK, for example, has seen Wales really struggling to keep up.

Broadband Comparison Better Following SuperFastCymru project

The Superfast Cymruproject is going to deliver fibre optic broadband to around 96% of residences and corporate premises in Wales before the end of 2015. This will make the broadband comparison between the UK and Wales much more level; great news for both consumers and businesses in the Principality.

The project has been instigated by the Government and BT in collaboration and has been a multi-million Pound investment from the UK government and the EU. The aim of the project is to tackle the uneven distribution of internet connectivity where rural communities have historically struggled to get decent, or even any level of broadband connectivity.

The improvements in broadband will make it more possible for companies to invest in the more remote parts of Wales and prevent the centralisation of commercial activities in areas that currently have the higher levels of broadband.

When will Superfast Broadband hit you?

The Superfast Cymru project began in February, 2013. It started in North Wales and the first cabinet upgrade was in Bangor, with a media blaze. The project will run over three years and the exact timings of release to different areas are not yet public knowledge.

The protagonists in the project have already stated though that the project will run to Bangor, Dolgellau, Caernarfon, Menai Bridge, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar, Porthmadog, and Pwllheli in the first phase.

The first year roll-out will see Superfast broadband going to Blaenau, Gwent, Denbighshire, Bridgend, Gwynedd, Flintshire, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, Port Talbot, Powys, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT), Vale of Glamorgan and Swansea.

2014 will see deployment in Carmarthenshire, Cardiff, Conwy, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire, Wrexham, and Torfaen.

It s a project that will excite both businesses and investors looking to expand in Wales.

The reality is there maybe delays

The reality is that the broadband comparison between different areas in Wales may remain unstable past 2015 as the project may not be completed by the end of that year. It may well run into 2016. However, the initiative is a major step forward for the country as we all know how important broadband is to the expansion of enterprise and competitive edge of industry in today s business world.

Private Initiatives

It s well worth noting that alongside this project, a number of independent fixed wireless companies have been working on getting broadband to towns and villages all across North Wales over recent years.

Broadband has got better and better over recent years in areas such as Anglesey and Gwynedd due to the investment of these private companies who have made a dramatic impact in Northern Wales.

If you do a broadband comparison of the different areas of Wales today, you ll receive massive disparity in the connection speeds available.

If you do it in two or three years, you ll be surprised at how consistency has been bought to broadband in Wales.

Satellite Broadband

Historically, the most rural of rural areas were resigned to the fact that they could not attain ADSL broadband speeds, and that fibre was not coming any time soon. Many of the more financially buoyant chose to get satellite broadband.

Satellite broadband covers 100% of the UK. It provides speeds today of around 10 MBPS, although this is a marked step up on speeds of the past.

It is affected by weather conditions, has poor latency performance, and has packages that offer notoriously low monthly data usage allowances. Nevertheless, the technology has improved with the newer satellites and it has, and is, a viable solution for communities that struggle to get a connection.

Mobile Broadband Coming?

Mobile broadband is a much more mainstream technology that is coming of age. The 4G spectrum auctions of early 2013 saw the main players such as Vodafone, O2 and Three bidding for spectrum lots.

With this over the mobile operators are frantically working to get the technology going in their networks. EE is already offering 4G to well over 50% of the UK.

The spectrum auction stipulates criteria that companies must meet in order to keep their spectrum contracts. This includes having certain coverage of the UK with 4G.

4G connectivity is up to 14.4 MBPS.

It is likely that more rural communities may find mobile broadband an increasingly accessible full time broadband solution.

The UK is going to become more broadband balanced and we will see less disparity in performance in the future broadband comparisons we do.

Phil Turner used a broadband comparison (http://www.uswitch.com/broadband1) site to get a great deal for family whenthey moved to Llanelli in Wales.

He shopped around several online price comparison websites including Uswitch.com

References

  1. ^ http://www.uswitch.com/broadband (www.uswitch.com)

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