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Alarming survey highlights continued digital divide for rural communities

The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has spoken of her concern over the growing digital divide in Wales, as a new survey found that over 50% of respondents from rural areas felt that the internet they had access to was not fast and reliable.

Janet, who is working with the community on a growing number of broadband cases, has now submitted a formal Written Question to the Minister for Climate Change to ensure that steps are being taken to support the quick roll-out of a full-fibre network. Commenting on the survey findings, Janet said: “The startling fact that 66% of survey respondents stated that they had been impacted by poor broadband just underlines that the digital divide continues to have a lasting and material impact on the success and well-being of our rural communities. “In working with the community on this issue, I have heard alarming stories of business struggling to function and of our young people being unable to fulfil their homework requirements. In this day and age, we should be working to ensure parity between our rural and urban centres. “With a recent Openreach report highlighting the 'game-changing' impact that full-fibre will have on various regions of the UK, I have now asked the Minister responsible for digital connectivity to clarify what urgent steps will be taken to support a quicker roll-out of such broadband across Wales.” ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • The survey was run by the National Federation of Women's Institutes-Wales, Country Land and Business Assocation, Farmers’ Union of Wales, NFU Cymru and Wales YFC.

  • To read the Openreach commissioned report, please click here.

  • Janet’s Written Question to Julie James MS (Minister for Climate Change) asked: “What steps is the Welsh Government taking to ensure that Wales has a comprehensive full-fibre network, further to the benefits highlighted in a recent Openreach-commissioned report?”

Photo: by Compare Fibre on Unsplash

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