Why is there no Universal Broadband in Wales?
The question is simple: why is that we can deliver (almost) free TV pictures to every house in Wales, yet we are unable to deliver paid for Broadband even though nearly every house has a phone line?
To my mind the answer is simple: BT is excessively domineering in this market. They drive the broadband agenda in Wales and spin their story so well to make some people think that they are doing the world a favour by making broadband available at all.
Sadly, this seems to be “bought” by the Welsh Assembly Government. Money is ploughed into schemes to provide faster access in some parts of Wales whilst others go without completely.
OFCOM appear to be as effective as a chocolate fireguard in forcing progress. Their recent report can only be described as a statement of the bleeding obvious.
What we need to do is realise that broadband internet access can be delivered over a variety of media, not just BT phone lines. Outlying villages can be served by the same technology as TV, to a base station and then through local distribution wirelessly or via physical connection. Mobile networks can also deliver effective solutions.
The WAG needs to challenge the providers to do more, and cut funding if they don’t. If that happens we will see the true expansion of broadband to be a truly universal service to the betterment of Wales.