The Felindre community is now reaping the benefits – doing Christmas shopping on line, using Skype to send seasonal greetings to friends and relatives overseas, while businesses can offer a more efficient and effective services to their clients.
It is the latest community to benefit from the Welsh Government Broadband Support Scheme (BSS) which provides up to £1000 for individuals, businesses and third sector organisations, towards the set-up and installation costs of a broadband connection in notspots.
Following a successful application on behalf of the entire community Felindre now has a 4.5Mbps broadband service. Prior to this, some had very slow internet connection while others had no connection at all.
Business Minister Edwina Hart said the Welsh Government was committed to ensuring everyone in Wales had access to an effective broadband supply.
“The Felindre project demonstrates how effective the Broadband Support Scheme is in eradicating notspots and how its supports communities to deliver a sustainable broadband service to rural areas of Wales.”
It’s made life much easier for Jud and Claire Hamblin who run Felindre Servicing - the UK’s sole authorised warranty and after sales centre for the Japanese Shimano fishing rods and reels
A fast speed broadband is vital for their business as they deal with Shimano’s European HQ in Holland and their head office in Japan.
They also process and distribute all orders for Shimano fishing equipment in the UK on behalf of clients like Argos – dispatching up to 9000 items a season.
Jud described the fast speed connection as brilliant and means he can confidently dispatch orders in time for Christmas.
“I can now download all the orders from Argos which are massive files and process them all. It’s made a huge difference. The lack of a good broadband service was really hard going and very frustrating especially as we are dealing with businesses around the world.”
Fast speed broadband is also a boon for fire fighter Christopher Byng and his family.
It means his mother Sharon, who works full time, has been able to do her Christmas shopping on line, in the comfort of her home. She also plans to use Skype to have a face to face chat on Christmas day with her brother who lives in Spain
Christopher said it was a massive improvement:
“ We had a dial up service before which could take two hours to order a single item on-line but we recently used the internet to book flights to Spain to visit my uncle, we were able to email him and speak on-line which made everything so much easier.”
Phil Owen - Community Development Officer for the Mawr Development Trust co-ordinated efforts on behalf of the community and fifty four homes and businesses are now connected, ten are due to be connected and more are joining the network on a daily basis.
“The Trust had been trying to bring broadband to Felindre for the past three years but internet providers just weren’t interested. Thankfully the Broadband Support Scheme gave us greater buying power and a local company, ResQ I.T. and Telecoms provided us with a solution”.