The Gower Broadband Community Group (GBCG) was established in 2011, and worked from then until late 2013 to bring super-fast broadband to those served by the Gower exchange (numbers starting 01792 39). Grant funding of £1000 per property was provided by the Welsh Government's Broadband support scheme, without which the whole scheme could not even have started, but it required a community initiative to make investment in infrastructure viable, and a commercial partner was therefore required. After a competitive process, GBCG selected Spectrum Internet, an Internet Service Provider based in Wales, to provide the service on the basis of promises to bring fast broadband to the whole exchange area. This enabled users on 4 of the 7 "cabinets" (Horton, Port Eynon, Middleton and Llanrhidian - Greyhound) to be connected to super-fast broadband in early 2013.
At the end of September 2013, Spectrum Internet confirmed that they would not at that time make similar enhancements to the 3 remaining cabinets (Reynoldston, Scurlage and Llanrhidian - Esso Garage). Unfortunately, due to the peculiarities of the grant scheme, the only contracts allowed are between end-users who have the service available and Spectrum, so there is nothing that either the Community Group nor the Welsh Government can do to hold Spectrum to their promises regarding the rest of the area. Furthermore, the existing Broadband Support Scheme closed to new applications on 30
We are deeply disappointed that the scheme was not completed, but proud of the fact that hundreds of users on the cabinets which have been enabled are able to access broadband at speeds greatly in excess of that available previously, and those on other cabinets have been able to get some improvement in their speeds through enhancements at the exchange itself.
The Welsh Government has announced that their method of providing fast broadband to those for whom it is not currently available will be via the "Superfast Cymru" scheme, whereby BT are given subsidies to provide an improved service to areas not considered economically viable. As this is a direct BT/WG collaboration, the Community Group will not be directly involved in the implementation, but we can still be contacted for help or advice via email@example.com.
Because we are unable to bring pressure to bear upon Spectrum, all issues regarding Superfast Broadband (technical or contractual) will need to be resolved with them. Anyone wanting to obtain a new fast Broadband service can likewise contact Spectrum, who should be able to supply a connection on a commercial basis, but it will not be grant-aided.
If you are in an area which might be upgraded under the Superfast Cymru scheme, we would advise you to avoid agreeing to any contract which would tie you to any provider (current or new) for any significant length of time. If possible, once out of contract, you should continue on a "month to month" basis, as that gives you the easiest and cheapest means to switch to any new opportunities which may arise.