Johnathan England at TFL has been quoted in the Press:
“We would hope that WAG has foreseen the potential issues that could arise from placing the onus on individuals within ‘notspot’ areas to solve their own broadband problems with WAG’s financial support.
Wales still has well over 200 ‘not spot’ areas and while we obviously have no issue with people making their own informed choices, we would also hope that the ‘bigger picture’ across Wales could also be monitored and co-ordinated to ensure that each of Wales’ ‘not spots’ do not end up ‘re-inventing the wheel’ in order to secure a reliable broadband service.
We are fully behind WAG’s initiative to finally deliver broadband services to communities throughout Wales – who frankly should have been broadband-enabled many years ago.
However, while the overall aim of the scheme is entirely positive, we feel there are serious risks of the fund being mis-spent at a local level, unless there is sufficient advice, guidance and control available to individual or business buyers, who have now effectively been tasked with getting the job done themselves.”
Now – this is not a new story, and yet it seems to be being recycled at the moment (no doubt as a result of the Commons debates that have been occuring).
Advice in Mr England’s quote could be read as ‘they should talk to us’, but actually he has a point. The average consumer of broadband is not a broadband expert – nor should they be. There are experts, and there are independent advisers – but they can be costly.