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welsh village

Residents of a village in Wales have installed their own ultrafast broadband network after getting frustrated with poor connectivity in the area.

Michaelston y Fedw is just ten miles away from the centre of Cardiff, but had an average internet speed of only 4Mbps.

This caused a wide variety of problems for residents, such as being unable to stream videos on YouTube or use online banking services.

A group of local people therefore decided to set up a Community Interest Company, so they could raise the money to create their own ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises network.

Residents contributed £150,000 towards the project, while organisers also applied for grants from the Welsh Government and Access Broadband Cymru.

In addition, villagers received training on how to lay the infrastructure, so they could dig their own trenches to carry fibre cables into homes.

The deployment means that by autumn, about 175 homes in Michaelston y Fedw will have access to broadband speeds of 1Gbps.

Carina Dunk, one of the volunteers behind the project, commented: "It used to take a few days to download a film, now it takes less than a minute.

"Communities have tended to be more distant and detached, but not here anymore. Sometimes we have to take a step back and pinch ourselves at what we have done.

"Anyone can do it, it is not rocket science."

Ben Longman, landlord of the Cefn Mably Arms, has hailed the upgrades, as his business has been particularly affected by slow broadband speeds.

Speaking to BBC News, he said: "As soon as someone came into the pub and their phone connected with the Wi-Fi, it would crash our debit card machine."

"Now you can come along and download the whole Star Wars trilogy in three minutes."

Image credit: Geograph.co.uk

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