Broadband schemes throughout Wales will receive more than £9 million worth of funding to help them deliver fast and reliable broadband to communities that need it, thanks to the Welsh Government’s Local Broadband Fund.
The fund, which was set-up to help local authorities and social enterprises address connectivity issues in their communities has already helped a number of projects across Wales with a further four projects now being awarded funding.
The money will provide better broadband access to communities in Cardiff, Newport, Vale of Glamorgan and North Wales.
Newport City Council has received funding for a scheme to improve gigabit capable full fibre connectivity and the provision of in-building assistive technology, and telecare services to three Adult Residential Care homes in the City of Newport. The project will help improve quality of life highlighted in the published Local Broadband Fund objectives.
The role of assistive technology will aid both staff and residents, providing many benefits in the running of a care home. The ability to provide constant monitoring of residents with health conditions will greatly assist staff members and contribute to a better quality of life for the resident.
Technology will also make it easier for residents to keep in touch with their families through apps such as Skype and Zoom. Video calls have acted as lifelines in most recent times due to the pandemic, where face to face visits were unable to go ahead in our care homes.
A significant part of the investment will go to Cardiff Council to provide broadband to 1,219 homes across Cardiff currently not able achieve broadband speeds of 30Mbps
As part of the Cardiff roll-out, properties considered high in the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 (WIMD) were given priority. In deciding who was eligible for the roll-out, each site was mapped against its overall deprivation rating and also against several separate indices, including Income, Employment, Health, Access to Services, Community Services, Physical Environment and Housing.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said:
“Fast and reliable broadband is more important than ever. While this area is not devolved to Wales, we are taking action through our Local Broadband Fund and various other schemes to bring better connectivity to some of the hardest to reach parts of Wales. Good quality digital connectivity underpins everything we do digitally and is the foundation to achieving our ambitious Digital strategy for Wales.
“The fund is already delivering a real difference to communities across Wales and today I am delighted to announce further schemes that will benefit from this funding.
“Broadband is a key utility and we’ll continue to support all efforts to boost connections the length and breadth of Wales.”
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment & Development, Cllr Russell Goodway, said:
“We’re delighted that the Welsh Government has invested £7.7m to help us deliver superfast broadband to these homes in the city. We feel it’s vital that everyone across the city, especially people in isolated properties and deprived areas, have the digital opportunities that many of us take for granted.”