PARTS of Bynea including Yspitty Road and Clos Y Gerddi have suffered with poor internet speeds for several years. Despite public meetings, the roll-out of fibre broadband in the area has faced several delays. Now, with more people working from home than ever before, residents are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress.
Llanelli’s Senedd member Lee Waters, MP Nia Griffith and County Councillor Deryk Cundy have met with senior representatives Openreach to put pressure on the company to roll-out fibre broadband in all parts of Bynea. Most of the area has been connected thanks to a Welsh Labour Government scheme but some sections continue to lose out because of decisions by the company not to invest further.
“Getting this infrastructure installed and implemented swiftly must now be a top priority for Openreach, after several years of delay and broken promises” local Senedd member Lee Waters said after the meeting.
Openreach confirmed that roll-out of fibre broadband in Bynea by the company will begin in the first quarter of 2021, with the work to join premises’ to the exchange starting by June. The company said that 53 properties in Bynea will receive an imminent mailshot enabling them to place an order for full fibre to the premises.
Bynea Counillor Deryk Cundy (pictured) pressed the directors to confirm as soon as possible which properties were unlikely to benefit from this commercial roll-out. He also welcomed that Openreach would discuss with their chief engineers team what could be done to support properties that come under the Gorseinon rather than Llanelli exchange.
Nia Griffith MP commented “It is vital that Openreach now prioritise Bynea in their current schedule of broadband roll-out, as they told residents they would when we met back in 2018. Whether it is for children doing homework or adults working from home, the network needs to have the capacity and speeds to provide first-rate connectivity, which is no longer a luxury but an essential service to enable people to participate fully in the economic, educational and social life of our community”.
Llanelli’s Member of the Senedd Lee Waters said “Unlike with our mail, there continues to be no legal obligation to provide broadband as a universal public service. That means we are left with a patchy network left to the whim of private companies to complete, which is putting places like Bynea and many others across Wales in a difficult situation. The Welsh Government will continue to try and plug these gaps with our Superfast Cymru programme, but broadband is not an issue that has been devolved to Wales and it is the responsibility of the UK Government to show some leadership and put broadband on the same footing as the postal service as universal service available to everyone no matter where they live.”