Local Plaid Cymru politicians have expressed their concerns following the announcement that alternative network operator, Broadway Partners, has called in the administrators.
The company had been aspiring to deploy their own gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the Premises network across rural communities in mid and west Wales, including the Dyffryn Cennen and Llanfihangel Aberbythych areas of Carmarthenshire.
Broadway – supported by a significant investment of £145m from London-based sustainable investment manager Downing LLP – was ultimately aiming to cover 250,000 premises with its new full fibre network by around 2028.
Speaking in the Senedd following the announcement that the company had called in the administrators, Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales, called for an urgent statement from the Welsh Government on the situation, and Broadway’s outstanding projects.
Commenting, Mr Campbell said:
“This is a very concerning development, and one that will cause considerable concern for many communities across Mid & West Wales who had worked constructively with Broadway to develop fibre broadband projects within their local communities.
We know that in so many rural areas, broadband speeds remain insufficient – causing significant frustration and disruption. Broadway’s work and interaction with local communities was a beacon of hope for many, however the uncertainty regarding the future of both the business and its projects is now very concerning. It’s vital Welsh Government, together with the Westminster government, review this situation and support those affected communities with haste.”
Adam Price, Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr added:
“This is yet more concerning news for my constituents who continue to struggle in accessing reliable fibre broadband. There are a number of communities in my constituency who have waited too long to receive this service, and this development is presents another obstacle.
A significant amount of effort has gone into this scheme already, and we will now be working with relevant stakeholders to ensure that this effort does not go to waste."
Hefin Jones, local Plaid Cymru County Councillor for Llanfihangel Aberbythych concluded:
“There's been a great deal of effort made here locally in Llanfihangel Aberbythych to get the necessary amount of residents signed up to the programme. People are terribly disappointed at this latest development, and it has been a real blow to their hopes of finally securing an FTTP project for the area. There are rural businesses here that are desperate for these upgrades, as well as homeowners."