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12 July 2018 08:58:53 |News,Rural Life

Farmers dig miles of trenches to install broadband in rural Welsh hamlet

Farmers and landowners helped deliver superfast broadband in the rural hamlet (Photo: Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC)

Farmers and landowners helped deliver superfast broadband in the rural hamlet (Photo: Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC)

A small village long suffering from inadequate broadband speeds is now benefiting from some of the fastest connections in the UK following the help of farmers.
Farmers helped the general public in the hamlet of Michaelston y Fedw where residents have been unable to use broadband to go about their daily lives.
With internet speeds averaging 4Mbps, the village, to the west of Newport, decided to form a Community Interest Company to bring ultrafast Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband.
The village now has one of the fastest internet speeds available, thanks to the help of farmers.
Around a dozen farmers and landowners helped dig just over seven miles (12km) of trenches to install fibre optic cables.
Other activities included fibre splicing, laying out ducts and fitting out the village’s communications hub.

The village pub, community hall and church are already connected to the ultrafast broadband and work is underway to connect over 175 premises. The village has a population of just 300 people.
'Amazing skills'
59-year-old Richard Raybould, is still waiting for his house to be connected on the edge of the village.
He said: "I will be one of the last to get it. It is amazing what skills people in the community have. There are IT experts and farmers who dig trenches.
"I have met at least 30 people who I had never spoken to before. We all know it is not viable for a commercial organisation to install it all."
Villagers raised the money required to build the network in the knowledge that once built, the connections would be eligible to be funded by the Welsh Government’s Access Broadband Cymru scheme or Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher once the speeds had been reached.
Both schemes are available for premises which cannot currently access superfast broadband.

David Schofield, a director of the Michaelston y Fedw Internet Community Interest Company said the project has been achieved thanks to the effort of local volunteers.
“Without them, the support of landowners, the village hall, local investors and the Welsh Government grant schemes this would never have got off the ground. We now have internet speeds that are world class, and this makes all the effort worthwhile,” he said.


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