IMPROVING digital connectivity across Ceredigion is a key aim of the county council as it aims to improve the county’s urban rural digital divide.
Ensuring that digital infrastructure reaches all homes in Ceredigion is one of the priorities of the region and the council is set to be the first in Wales to have a county wide loRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) network.
Due for installation by early 2021 it is designed to allow low-powered devices and sensors to communicate with Internet-connected applications over long range wireless connections, members of the corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee heard on Wednesday (November 25).
The committee were also updated on projects improving broadband connectivity and mobile coverage along with various funding opportunities for businesses and residents.
The council’s digital development officer Dave Owen told the committee of the work underway, adding that the authority is “committed to being one of the best connected rural localities in the UK.”
He said that he also wanted to correct the “misconception” that Ceredigion was not well connected with many areas have good connectivity, however it did vary greatly from area to area.
A shared rural network was et to improve mobile coverage and the Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru scheme had reached 23 per cent of homes and businesses, with the scheme extended and potentially benefiting a further 2,700 premises.
The committee heard about the Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband, a UK wide measure to deliver broadband to those premises that do not have access to a decent and affordable broadband connection.
This scheme could benefit councillors as well Cllr Elizbeth Evans was told when she pointed out her poor broadband speed despite not being in a rural area but near Aberaeron.
There will also be improvement using Openreach (BT) community fibre partnership and a mobile Shared Rural Network, as well as rural gigabit vouchers, Access Broadband Cymru, upgrade vouchers and the LoRaWan Network.
The committee welcomed the improvements and future plans, congratulating Mr Owen on his work.