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RESIDENTS and businesses in rural areas of Carmarthenshire will have access to more funding for better broadband.

Welsh Government recently announced it has topped up the value of the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to those with less than 30Mbps.

The vouchers have doubled in value and those eligible can now claim £7k for a small to medium sized business and £3,000 for residential premises.

Carmarthenshire County Council are supporting group projects across the county to access the vouchers so they have better digital connectivity.

The scheme helps people living in rural areas with funding to cover the upfront costs of installing new gigabit-capable internet connections.

Vouchers subsidise the cost of building next-generation broadband infrastructure – such as fibre-optic cables – to rural villages and towns, so they don’t miss out on much faster speeds.

They also incentivise other broadband companies to build in these areas.

To qualify for vouchers, you must reside in a rural area with broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps. You would also need to be part of a group project of two or more residents or businesses. Vouchers would then be combined to pay towards the cost of connections.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board member for rural affair, Cllr Cefin Campbell said: “These vouchers will be of huge benefit to those who are struggling with digital connectivity in our rural communities. Digital connectivity is an essential utility, particularly in the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and having to work remotely. Whilst this scheme provides access to some of the fastest speeds available more needs to be done to ensure an equitable digital provision across Carmarthenshire and to give people the freedom to live and work more flexibly. People living in these areas need effective and reliable broadband and without it they are going to continue to struggle to live a modern lifestyle.”

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is supplier-led. This means suppliers will be requesting the voucher on behalf of their customers. The value of the voucher will contribute to the build cost of installing a gigabit-capable connection at the customer’s premises.

For more information contact Ceri Jenkins CeJenkins@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Further information on the voucher scheme and how it works visit https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/wales/

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