'Forgotten' Welsh Village Gets Gigabit 5G

By Holly Brockwell on at

A village in the hills of Monmouthshire in South Wales has taken the unusual step of upgrading from broadband speeds of less than 1Mbps to gigabit.

Llanddewi Rhydderch is part of a government 5G pilot programme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), which uses a 60GHz mesh network developed by British company Cambridge Communications Systems (CCS). Like the mesh routers you can get for your house, the network ensures strong and even coverage across the village.

Using mesh radio meant the project could be completed in weeks, whereas gigabit fibre would have taken months to install.

The Metnet 60G Mesh radios are fixed to the outside of buildings, like this rather lovely house.

Known locally as the "forgotten village," Llanddewi Rhydderch also has the surprising honour of being home to the UK's embassy for the island nation of Kiribati.

Monmouthshire County Councillor Sara Jones is hoping more organisations will relocate there now that there's good internet:

"Monmouthshire is renowned for its natural beauty and its appeal as a place to live and play. With the success of this 5G pilot trial, it will become an attractive location for modern businesses to locate, given the quality of its digital infrastructure and the council’s commitment to embracing innovation."

Martin Harriman, Executive Chairman of CCS adds:

"This is an important trial of our Metnet 60G Mesh radio, which until now has only been deployed in relatively dense urban environments. Proving the technical and commercial case for its use in rural areas, to support both fixed and 5G mobile broadband, expands the range of technology options available to ISPs and mobile operators."

Considering the village previously had speeds so slow they couldn't even use Netflix, we're guessing the 400 inhabitants won't be going out much in the next few months. They've got a lot of series to catch up on.