Welsh Lib Dems call for ‘not spots’ to be a thing of the past

2013 Hydref 1 12:05 PM

In their debate this week, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for an end to internet and mobile 'not spots' in Wales.

Wales currently has the largest proportion of premises in potential not-spots and the lowest availability of superfast broadband services. In the past, the Welsh Government's broadband schemes have proven to be inadequate for businesses due to the slow speed of the broadband provided. The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling on the Welsh Government to examine the support that can be offered to businesses to improve their ability to compete worldwide through better access to digital services.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will also be calling for the Welsh Government to investigate recent problems with mobile signals in rural areas and to work with network providers to ensure these issues are addressed and coverage is maximised across Wales.

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesperson said:

"There is a fear that many businesses are being left behind the rest of the UK due to inadequate internet connections. Frankly, using a homing pigeon would be more effective than the non-existent email service many businesses have to put up with.

"There are an increasing number of people who are self employed and working from home. Not only is that a convenient way to help people fit their work around their home life, it can also save them vast amounts of money. Yet for many people that simply isn't an option due to the lack of phone and internet connection. The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to put that right."

Kirsty Williams, leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:

"Technology moves fast and the difference between those who have broadband and those who don't is getting wider and wider.

"Fuel poverty is a massive issue in many rural communities. Yet figures show that rural households are less likely to take up schemes that reduce fuel costs, such as cheaper tariffs or energy efficency schemes, due to a lack of broadband access. Far too many people in Wales are being made to feel like second class broadband citizens.

"We've had some terrible problems with mobile signal recently in Mid Wales. We are calling on the Welsh Labour Government to investigate these recent problems with mobile signal and work with network providers to ensure these issues are addressed so that coverage is maximised across Wales."

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