Carmarthenshire MP Jonathan Edwards – one of the original group of MPs who supported greater separation between BT and broadband infrastructure provider Openreach – has welcomed today's ruling by regulator Ofcom that BT must legally separate from its Openreach division.
The Plaid Cymru MP has himself submitted complaints to Ofcom, raising concerns that residents have an inconsistent service, that they are not being adequately informed about faults by their service provider and repairs to the phone network in rural areas were taking too long.
Following the 'BroadBad' report published in January which showed Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency ranked 649 out of 650 for broadband speed, Jonathan Edwards was one of a group of MPs to call for greater separation to end BT's monopoly on the broadband infrastructure.
Welcome today's decision from Ofcom, Jonathan Edwards MP said:
"Improving our digital and transport infrastructure can help rebalance power and wealth away from the south-east of England – and even the south-east of Wales - and see the nations and regions of the UK prosper whilst creating jobs and employment locally.
"Since being elected in 2010 I have met hundreds and hundreds of constituents who have had varying degrees of problems with their broadband infrastructure; from phone lines being cut off for weeks without repair to ageing lines incapable of providing the most basic of internet connection. I've been able to play a small part in getting their lines up and running again, but the underlying problem of poor infrastructure still remains.
"Rural Carmarthenshire has seen little to no improvement from the tens of millions of pounds invested on broadband, with many claiming BT's effective monopoly on the infrastructure is a disincentive for the company to invest in the network.
"As parts of Wales move ahead to ultrafast broadband speeds it is imperative that rural communities are not left behind. Today's announcement from Ofcom is in itself a recognition that the current system isn't working. This is to be welcomed as the campaign to properly connect Carmarthenshire continues."
Jonathan discusses the Ofcom announcement with BBC Radio Wales: