Deeside Enterprise Zone: Better broadband a step closer for business.
Companies struggling with poor broadband speeds are a step closer to a solution after a meeting with top officials, providers and politicians.
Some of Deeside Enterprise Zone’s smaller businesses are encountering broadband speeds of as low as 0.15 megabytes per second, hampering productivity.
While Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband is available, with between five and 12 employees many companies cannot afford it.
The problem has been an ongoing one, with Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant taking up the cause of the businesses and making representations on their behalf to BT Cymru and Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Julie James.
BT senior officers Ed Hunt and Geraint Strello travelled from Cardiff on last Friday Spetemeber 11th to a special meeting of affected businesses at chairman of Deeside Business Forum Askar Sheibani’s firm Comtek.
They were joined by Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant and president of the forum Lord Barry Jones.
Carl Sargeant said:
“The Enterprise Zone and the areas around it are critical to the local economy and it’s not acceptable that we have a second class system in terms of broadband.
“It’s important business get their message across to BT today. I’m on board and will do as much as I can to help.”
Lord Barry Jones stated that at 34 per cent Flintshire had the highest percentage of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) coming from manufacturing than any other part of Great Britain.
“Flintshire Council and the Welsh Government have done well for this area but in the 21st century, if BT can’t deliver to you what is essential for you to deliver jobs and profit, that isn’t good enough,” he said.
There was also a lot of praise for BT in rolling out Superfast Cymru, and Ed Hunt said that most parts of Deeside Enterprise Zone would have the infrastructure in place by the end of March 2016.
Alternative providers Carrier Wales and Airband were also at the meeting and said they believed they could offer affordable solutions to many of the companies in attendance.
It was agreed that working with the Welsh Government a map should be produced for businesses clearly marking the various service options available to them in each area.
Askar Sheibani said:
“This was a very productive and well attended meeting and it looks like our voice is being heard. Collectively, through Deeside Business Forum with the help
of British Telecom and other local providers, we are approaching the final stages of developing a sustainable, satisfactory and affordable broadband solution.
“I am very pleased and encouraged with the energetic support our members within Deeside Business community are receiving from Carl Sargent AM and Lord Barry Jones.
Lord Barry Jones, president of Deeside Business Forum, Askar Sheibani, chairman of Deeside Business Forum, and Ed Hunt, BT’s Superfast Cymru Programme Director. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com