Last school in Wales finally gets superfast connectivity

Last school in Wales finally gets superfast connectivity

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The last school in Wales to still be struggling without a broadband connection is finally set to receive a boost to its connectivity in time for the next school year.

Ysgol Llanychllwydog in Fishguard has been particularly challenging to reach because of its rural location and difficult geography, but with the help of the government's Rural Gigabit Connectivity scheme, it will at last get the solutions it needs, BBC News reports.

This is a £200 million programme of investment managed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Ysgol Llanychllwydog is one of 31 schools in rural parts of England and Wales that will receive gigabit connectivity as part of the first phase of the scheme.

Digital minister Margot James commented: "That's not the end of it for Wales. The other aspects of the Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme is that we are using that £200 million to bring full fibre to local public buildings like hospitals and schools so that they get the gigabit connectivity first."

Work to connect Ysgol Llanychllwydog to this technology has been extensive, with fibre optic cabling being deployed along a 15-mile route to connect the school with Haverfordwest.

Matt Lovegrove from Openreach explained: "We've had to plough 1.5 miles of new trench to put new duct in, we've had to put new poles and had to span the cable between 50 poles as well, so a real variety of challenges."

He added the new connectivity is effectively "limitless" in terms of speed and will allow students to access a range of tools that were previously out of reach, such as interactive learning. 

Until now, pupils sometimes have to wait up to half an hour for some internet pages to load and it can be impossible to get videos to play. Because of the poor connectivity in the area, when the internet does go down, headteacher Amanda Lawrence has to drive ten minutes to another school to send an email to report it.

"It's in a very secluded valley and people don't really understand how rural it is," she told Wales Online earlier this year. "When we were without a phone line, it's not like we could pop next door. There are a couple of houses over the road, but generally, when you go there you can't get in contact with anyone."

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