By 2020 all properties in Wales, including student accommodations, will be able to access high-speed broadband thanks to government funding.
The Superfast scheme is a successor to the leading Superfast Cymru project which is predicted to deliver high-speed broadband to nearly 715,000 homes before its closure in 2017.
“Superfast Cymru has been a great success…but we know there is more to do,” said the Welsh Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James. “Our commitment in our programme is to offer fast reliable broadband to every property in Wales.”
The new scheme will include university halls and private accommodation, where a lot of students are facing problems when it comes to broadband usage.
“I find that connections drop out a lot,” said one Cardiff University student. “Sometimes you get nothing for like 10-15 minutes in university, and its worse in exam periods.”
Due to house shares, students are hit hardest when it comes to connection speed as there is constant competition over bandwidth.
A lot of students have resorted to mobile networks using 4G, as they are able to tailor the data plans to suit themselves and have more control over what they pay.
The scheme will potentially be backed by public funding:
- £20m has been committed in the Welsh Government budget
- £20m will come from European structural funds
- £37m from gain-share as a result of take-up of superfast broadband
- £2m from the UK government
Christopher King, an Economics student at Cardiff University, said: “It’s good in theory, but whether it’ll actually work is a different question.”
“Economically it’s not that great, but it is going to help people in general. Better for exams, better for streaming, better for everything really.”
An Open Market review is taking place this month to establish the areas that won’t be reached by Superfast Cymru, and the new scheme will begin its delivery in January 2018.