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Villagers fed up with slow internet take matters into their own hands

Residents working on the broadband project Source: Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC

In just the space of a few months, a local group of villagers have taken a DIY approach to overcome dreadfully slow internet speeds.

Villagers from a tiny Welsh community were so fed up with slow internet speeds they took matters into their own hands and built their own super-fast broadband network.

The residents from the rural village of Michaelston y Fedw, with a population of 300, were receiving speeds as slow as 1.2-1.4MGB, frustrating local businesses and householders.

“Life is so difficult without internet,” resident Ben Longman, who runs the local pub, told Wales Online.

Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC
Residents of Michaelston y Fedw laying the cables.
Michaelston y Fedw Internet CIC

“Online banking is impossible. The till systems all work online and were so slow. If we wanted to change a menu item it would take hours.”

After a bit more discussion at the local pub, residents came up with a plan: install a 1GBS fibre-to-the-premises network, by themselves.

They established a community interest company in October 2017 with the goal of laying out the network with funding from government grants, fundraising and volunteers to keep costs low.

They achieved their goal in just the space of a few months – work began in February, with locals digging and laying ducts across a 12 kilometre line.

Live connections were achieved by June as the village began boasting that it was the first rural community with a 1GB FTTP network in Wales.

“We lead the field in affordability, equal upload and download speeds, bringing the community together in both digital and analogue environment, and we have the capability to deliver 10 Gbs,” the community website reads.

“With upgrades in the future we are capable of delivering 100 Gbs or 100,000 Mbs. All in all, a fantastic achievement.”

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