Three is bringing 3G broadband to rural Wales as part of a campaign to connect remote areas to the internet.
The operator will provide 20 local families and businesses in the Ceredigion region with its MiFi units [pictured], which create personal Wi-Fi hotspots, for a year. A community hotspot will be created in the Royal British Legion hall in Aberaeron, allowing anyone who uses it to connect for free.
Three said the Ceredigion region has either no broadband access or a very slow connection, with speeds of around 300Kbps. The operator said these speeds make web browsing very slow, hinders the delivery of emails and makes consumption of rich media difficult. It is the first time the Rural Broadband Working Group, a collaboration between Three, The Countryside Alliance and Race Online 2012, has brought broadband speeds to Wales.
The operator has recently spent £1m in the area upgrading the network to support increasing mobile broadband and smartphone use. David Dyson, Three CEO, said: 'It is a natural next step for the Working Group to target the disconnected here. Unfortunately, because of the limitations of fixed-line broadband, there are still too many areas which still can't receive a usable fixed line broadband service.
'This is exactly where mobile broadband can bridge the gap between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' whether they are on the side of a hill, or deep down in a valley. Hopefully people will now be able to surf the web, download emails, do their shopping online or even work from home for the first time.'