The Welsh government has come under fire for failing to provide decent broadband to 28 primary schools in Wales. Connectivity is said to be so bad that pupils aren’t able to access the online resources in school that they need.
The schools in question can't get broadband speeds of 10Mb, which isn't enough to access Hwb, the learning platform for Welsh primary students. A letter from one school explained that "it would take all morning to connect to Hwb - which all Welsh pupils should be actively working on daily."
The worst offenders are in Carmarthenshire and Powys, each of which have six schools with poor broadband; along with four schools in Ceredigion, four in Conwy, three in Gwynedd, two in Denbighshire, and the remaining three in Anglesey, Flintshire, and Wrexham.
Head teachers say the poor speeds are putting children in those areas at an educational disadvantage, with one calling it "a form of rural deprivation".
In response, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said in a statement: "With 28 schools still needing improvement, we recognise there is more to do… We are working closely with the respective local authorities to ensure all 28 schools affected will have increased broadband services to support the digital competence framework by end of March this year."
Williams also explained that there is poor infrastructure in the schools' areas, which makes it difficult and very expensive to deploy decent broadband lines.
In November, the Welsh government committed £5 million to bring fast broadband specifically to schools in Wales - so hopefully these ones will see an improvement sooner rather than later.