WEB users in a street identified as having one of the UK’s slowest broadband connections vented their frustration after being told they were set to wait until 2016 to get fast internet speeds.
A uSwitch survey revealed in April that Llantarnam Road in Cwmbran had an average download speed of 1.10 megabytes per second, compared to 17.8 megabytes per second on average in the UK.
Residents branded the connections as “unacceptable” and “ridiculous” after the study showed Llantarnam Road had the 13th slowest download speed in the UK and was within the top three slowest in Wales.
Last Tuesday [June 24], Torfaen council leader Bob Wellington told councillors that works to increase speeds were set to start in March 2015 and were expected to last between 12 and 18 months.
But Wendy Kirkman, 67, the manager of Cwmbran computer repair company GiaKonda IT, said: “It is as if we’re kind of out in the sticks. You would expect better speeds quicker than that.”
Landscape designer Rory Horton, 35, of Llantarnam Road, added: “It is some way off. I think the internet connections have got worse. It is pretty ridiculous.”
The improvements will be carried out through a partnership between the Welsh Government and BT called Superfast Cymru.
Llantarnam ward Cllr David Daniels said: “I was very pleased to hear Cllr Wellington’s announcement that the Superfast Cymru initiative will be rolled out in our area within the next few years.
“Confirmation of the timescale is especially welcome as it provides residents with a firmer commitment for improvement.”
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said: “Superfast Cymru provides fast fibre broadband connection in those areas not covered by a commercial roll-out.
“Llantarnam Road is linked to the Cwmbran exchange, which was fast fibre enabled under the BT commercial roll-out.
“Not every cabinet was included and Superfast Cymru will be going to the Cwmbran exchange to enable those areas not covered by the commercial roll-out starting in March 2015.
“The Welsh Government's work on superfast broadband will make Wales one of the most connected countries in the world by 2016, with 96 per cent of premises with access to fast fibre broadband.”