During a visit to the 5G Testbed in Monmouthshire, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns heard how UK Government funding is being used to develop the latest 5G technology across the UK.
After receiving a share of £3.5 million of UK Government funding last year, the testbed in Llanddewi Rhydderch has begun trialling innovative uses of 5G to generate stronger connections for residents, businesses, farmers and visitors.
As well as the Monmouthshire site, six other testbeds have been developed in Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Invernessshire and Perthshire. The funding came as part of the UK Government’s Digital Strategy which aims to develop a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.
The Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
It is great to see first-hand how UK Government funding is being used in Monmouthshire to transform connectivity in our rural communities.
There is potential to use 5G to increase food production in farming, improve healthcare in the home and develop apps for tourists – all of which will provide an important boost to our rural economy.
The UK Government is committed to delivering on our promise to create a UK fit for the future, with a thriving digital economy in every part of the country.
Barry Weaver, Operations Director Broadway Partners said:
We believe that Gigabit connectivity by 2025 is achievable through the right mix of technology, knowhow and some positive energy! The 5G pilot in Monmouthshire proved that Gigabit services can be delivered to communities at a very quick speed. We are in the process of replicating this all over the country. Let’s get Gigabit done.
Taking another step towards a fully-connected country, the UK Government has also today announced the introduction of a new law which will ensure the nine million people in the UK living in blocks of flats can access gigabit speed broadband.
It will make it easier to install faster internet connections in blocks of flats where landlords repeatedly ignore requests for access from broadband firms and it is estimated that an extra 3,000 UK residential buildings a year will be connected as a result.
This follows the UK Government announcing £5 billion of new funding to bring gigabit-capable broadband to the hardest-to-reach parts of the UK earlier this month.