Mark Williams, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has today, Wednesday 6 July, held a debate in Parliament on the topic of broadband in Wales.
Mark raised the problem of the growing digital divide between urban and rural areas, especially in Mid and West Wales, and called for greater effort by both UK and Welsh Governments to ensure that those in small rural communities, who often suffer from poor or non-existent broadband connections, are given priority in Government superfast broadband rollout schemes.
Mark said “The issue of both broadband and mobile connectivity is a recurring problem for many people in rural areas of Wales. While there has been a big increase in the number of people able to receive superfast broadband in Wales over the past few years, it often feels that rural communities are being left behind.
“The UK Government’s commitment to the Universal Service Obligation, which will see everyone, no matter where they live, entitled to request a connection of 10Mbps is welcome, but those areas which have been let down before will undoubtedly be sceptical.
“With the growing importance of broadband access to people’s everyday lives, it is vital that the connections are there, for individuals, for family farms, and for local charities and businesses.
“The UK has committed itself to being the best connected country in the world, and so I call on both UK and Welsh Governments to make sure that this lofty goal is met and that the needs of people in rural areas are not ignored.
“People’s expectations are rightly very high. These expectations have not been met, yet they need to be.”