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Jenny Willott MP

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Jenny Willott

The Welsh Liberal Democrats, including Jenny Willott MP, have supported a long-standing campaign to bring high speed broadband to Penylan.

Penylan has been dubbed a longstanding Broadband Notspot.

The reasons for this are largely historical, due to the fact that the telephone exchange serving Penylan is over five kilometres in length. The cables linking Penylan are also of a poor quality. They were first installed in the 1970s when there was a worldwide shortage of copper and therefore aluminium cables were used instead. These are fine for serving telephones but are not up to the job when it comes to high speed broadband.

Penylan councillors Bill Kelloway, Tricia Burfoot and Joe Boyle, along with Baroness Jenny Randerson, Eluned Parrott AM and leader of the Liberal Democrats on Cardiff Council Judith Woodman have also supported the campaign since 2006.

Public petitions have been collected, meetings have been held with British Telecom, motions have been moved at Cardiff Council, residents have been consulted, the Welsh Government has been written to, the topic has been raised in the Welsh Assembly and alternative suppliers have been met in the hope of finding a solution. Jenny Willott has been a key player in all of these processes.

BT argued that they cannot justify bringing high speed broadband to Penylan, in terms of the costs and have asserted that they would only do so should public funding be provided.

In Chancellor George Osbourne's autumn statement of 2011 it was announced that money would be made available for Broadband Notspots around the country. BT were able to tap into this resource and an announcement was made in late 2011 by Ann Beynon, the Regional Director of BT in Wales, that highspeed broadband would be rolled out to Penylan during 2012.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats were key in securing funding from the coalition government for high speed broadband to be brought to Penylan and are awaiting a completion date from BT.