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[April 30, 2014]
I run a business on the street with slowest net in UK ; ...it's so frustrating says driving instructor [Daily Post (Liverpool, England)]
(Daily Post (Liverpool, England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) USING the internet on the street with the slowest broadband speed in the UK is a frustrating experience for all concerned.
But when running your business depends on a reliable internet connection, Erw Fawr in Henryd is far from an ideal place to be.
The street in the quiet Conwy village was recently found to have a download speed of 0.60 megabytes per second - 30 times slower than the UK average of 18mbps.
Kim Forbes, who gets three quarters of the clients for his driving school online, knows the frustration of living in a notorious "not-spot" only too well.
Mr Forbes runs Kimpassable Driving School from Erw Fawr and says the poor internet connection puts him at a disadvantage.
He said: "Customers get in touch with me on Facebook and they think I'm ignoring them because it takes so long to reply. It can take up to 15 minutes to reply to a message, which makes take part in survey log on to dailypost.co.uk to out how you can have your say me look unprofessional.
"Between 70% and 75% of my customers come from Facebook. Young people use it to get in touch with me instead of the phone.
"If I get a new client, I use Google Maps to find their address, but that can take forever. Loading the map can take 10 minutes." The frustration continues when residents of Erw Fawr try to use the internet in their free time.
Mr Forbes said: "I can click to load a game, go and make a cup of tea and, by the time I come back, the game has just loaded. Downloading a film can take 12 hours. We may be a small community but everything is on the internet now." Kim " Mike Learmond, North Wales development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses, says things are improving but that not-spots remain.
He said: "The internet is an increasingly important part of every business I can think of. Even little B&Bs who wouldn't have thought of doing it in the past are doing online bookings. Almost every business has some sort of web presence, so reliable and fast broadband is of ever-increasing importance. "There are certain areas, particularly in Gwynedd, where speeds are slow. Rural areas suffer most but it's important we get the whole of Wales covered. It's very difficult to run a business when you can't communicate.
"Businesses do feel they're at a disadvantage. Guests who turn up with their devices and expect good internet connections can be quite disappointed too.
"The problem is not specific to Wales and I think it's improving. Superfast broadband is rolling out and I believe Wales is ahead of the game. But it's not happening fast enough for those people waiting for it." Forbes " The Welsh Government says Erw Fawr has been earmarked for fast fibre broadband under the Superfast Cymru programme, which aims to provide 96% of homes and businesses with a fast internet connection by spring 2016.
A spokesman said: "We are leading the way with Superfast Cymru by making fibre available to more people more quickly than the rest of the UK to make Wales one of the most connected countries in the world." (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.
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