A self-employed photographer from Abergavenny is getting behind a new campaign to promote the benefits of superfast broadband and encourage its further adoption across the county.
Leighton Morris is supporting the Welsh Government campaign after experiencing first-hand how a superfast internet service has been essential to his business and help speed up everyday life.
With a photography and virtual tours videography business to run and conventional broadband speeds restricting everything from streaming TV shows to internet shopping, Leighton made the decision to switch to superfast as soon as it became available.
Leighton said: “As a family we seem to be increasingly relying on the internet for every aspect of our lives from doing our grocery shopping and banking to streaming TV shows and films so having a speedy connection just makes life easier and simpler.
“Rather than waiting ages for a website to load everything can be done at the click of a button and mundane tasks like grocery shopping takes minutes rather than hours.
“My son is also becoming increasingly obsessed with watching anything from music videos to football and Minecraft on YouTube so having a superfast connection means that he can happily watch them without getting frustrated by constant buffering. We also download movies to our iPad for long car journeys at the touch of a button meaning Charlie is kept entertained in the car for hours.
“In addition to superfast broadband helping to take the stress out of shopping and making watching films and boxsets more enjoyable, I find it essential to the day to day running of my photography and virtual tour videography business, 3D-PI.
“The superfast connection allows me to download huge video files extremely quickly as well as edit and upload them to the cloud instantly in order to share them with clients. I’m often on a deadline and a client needs me to turn video edits around very quickly so the superfast connection makes this possible.
“I also occasionally Skype clients to get feedback and discuss projects and the superfast connection means that the calls are sharp and there is no embarrassing delay meaning they can be quick and easy.
“I would definitely recommend the service to anyone who can get it as it literally makes a difference to so many aspects of your life.”
In addition to roll out of the technology by the private sector, Superfast Cymru has provided an extra 16,969 premises in the area with access to superfast broadband.
With almost 73% of the Superfast Cymru roll-out programme complete in Monmouthshire, the Welsh Government superfast campaign is aiming to promote superfast broadband to residents to demonstrate its benefits and encourage its further use across the county.
While most of the county can now access faster broadband should they wish to do so, a small percentage of premises are not yet able to access it. Assistance is also available for them on the Welsh Government website or by contacting the Welsh Government broadband team.*
Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James, said: “While the majority of homes in Monmouthshire can now access superfast broadband should they wish, many people are simply not fully aware of its benefits or how it can be accessed.
“As Leighton’s story shows, faster broadband speeds are enabling people to stay in touch and communicate with people across the world with greater speed and efficiency than ever before. This includes activities such as downloading large learning resources for children, managing bank accounts, shopping for groceries, paying household bills or using video services such as Skype.
“We want as many people as possible to realise these benefits, and this campaign is aiming to showcase how the technology is impacting thousands of lives in communities across Wales.”
Households and businesses in Monmouthshire wanting to take advantage of the benefits of fast fibre broadband should contact an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice to place an order.
*To find out what broadband is available, people are advised to visit www.gov.wales/broadband. This also includes information for those not yet able to receive superfast broadband as support may be available through the Welsh Government’s Access Broadband Cymru scheme, which provides grant funding to access superfast broadband through other means.
Representatives from Welsh Government will also be on-hand to chat to local people about superfast broadband at Monmouth town centre on 1st September and Usk Show on 9th September.