Rural communities to get improved internet connection

39 days ago

Financial help is being made available for residents struggling with internet connection in Carmarthenshire’s rural communities 

A new scheme has been set up to help rural residents and small businesses with less than 100mbps access faster and more reliable broadband.

The Broadband Upgrade fund which forms part of the government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme offers those with slow internet speeds a significant contribution towards the costs of getting quicker and more reliable internet connections into their homes or businesses.

Rural residents can get up to £1,500 and small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) up to £3,500 to upgrade to gigabit broadband, which is capable of download speeds of 1 gigabit (1000 megabits) per second.

Those who have less than 30 Mbps may be eligible for a top up from Welsh Government which double the value of the voucher with up to £7000 for available for SMEs and £3000 for homes.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member responsible for rural affairs, Cllr Cefin Campbell said: “We welcome this new scheme and would encourage rural residents and businesses with slow internet speeds to register their interest now. Digital connectivity is an essential utility, particularly in the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and having to work remotely. It underpins almost every aspect of modern living across work, travel, leisure and health. Fast, reliable connectivity is vital to support business growth, help rural communities to thrive, improve health and well-being, and make it easier for people to get online and access public services. Without it they are going to struggle to live a modern lifestyle.”

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to combine their interest to increase the overall fund the community is entitled to.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: ''Better broadband enhances people’s lives and the government is making it easier for rural communities in Carmarthenshire to access the economic and social benefits of gigabit-capable broadband. Those suffering with slow internet speeds can receive a significant contribution towards the costs of getting quicker and more reliable internet connections into their homes or businesses through this initiative. I urge people to sign up to find out if they’re eligible for this next-generation broadband boost.”

Please check here to see if you are eligible to apply. Registration is open until 30 September 2020.

For more information contact Ceri Jenkins CeJenkins@carmarthenshire.gov.uk