Friday, April 28, 2006

Welsh MP calls for faster standard broadband

Posted: Tue, April 4, 2006
Welsh MP calls for faster standard broadband

Roger Williams, MP for Brecon & Radnorshire, has called on the government to encourage the industry to increase the speed at which internet connections can be defined as broadband.

In a Westminster Hall debate on the issue, Mr Williams, who is Liberal Democrat spokesperson on rural affairs, questioned Alun Michael, minister for industry and the regions, about how broadband was defined and was told that 128kbps (Kila bits per second) was the Ofcom definition.

The standard for ADSL is 512kbps.

"To allow such a slow speed [128kbps] to be defined as 'broadband' is ridiculous," said Mr Williams.

He went on to say that the government should encourage the industry to move to universal provision of broadband "at a much higher speed".

"It is vital that people living and working in rural areas have access to broadband facilities fast enough to meet the demands of modern business. High-speed broadband is an essential tool for the diversification of the rural economy," he added.

It was recently announced that a new study is looking in to the feasibility of a large-area wireless broadband scheme for mid Wales, covering Aberystwyth and further afield.

The Mid Wales Partnership has published a report urging the development of such a system that could eventually be extended to cover Newtown and Welshpool.

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