Welsh rural communities to be given 5G with new grant

Cell tower (Source: Ervins Strauhmanis via flickr)

A £65 million grant has been put forward in order to help people in rural Wales have speedier internet connections. This new technology installed into these rural areas will involve Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics, School of Geography and Planning, School of Mathematics and the Data Innovation Research Institute.

Connected Communities in the Rural Economy will collaborate with various experts in the field along with the county council of the communities that the 5G will help. This new source of internet access will hopefully bring about improvements to farm security and tourism, as well as tackling rural isolation. 

5G is more advanced in that it has almost ten times the internet speeds of 4G, and could therefore change the way that these rural communities interact with one another and with services. It is hoped that more and more individuals will be open to new technologies such as smart devices and remote health care, improving the standards of living for many in these communities.  

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said “The UK Government is committed to eliminating the difference in connection between urban and rural areas whilst exploring innovative ways to use 5G technology to develop emerging industries, supporting our rural economy in Wales.”

The project by Connected Communities in the Rural Economy notes that this is an important step in enabling all of the UK to be able to access computational technologies such as edge computing and analytics. However the project realises that cyber security remains an important issue in which to tackle. 

Professor Peter Madden OBE, from Cardiff University’s School of Geography and Planning, said: “5G technology has the potential to improve the lives of people in rural areas.  We’re really pleased that Cardiff University, has been able to help secure this funding, so that we can explore the benefits that this technology could bring to people living across south east Wales.”

A grant of £5 million has been given for this project by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This was matched by various partners, who are both privately and publicly funded. These funds are necessary to carry out this extensive project that can be foreseen to make great changes in Wales’s productivity and tourism.


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