Schoolgirl has to be driven to LAYBY a mile from home to do homework

Schoolgirl, 12, has to be driven to a LAYBY a mile from home to do her homework because her home broadband connection is so bad

  • Grug Williams is driven to spot a mile from her home near Conwy, North Wales
  • Schoolgirl has to visit layby or go to her aunt’s house for 4G to do homework
  • Uses internet to download pictures and do research for art projects
  • Conwy Council councillor said lack of internet was creating ‘digital inequality’

A 12-year-old schoolgirl has to be driven to a layby a mile away from her house to do her homework because her home broadband connection is so bad.

Grug Williams has to be driven to the spot so she can download schoolwork because of the unreliable broadband connection at the family farm near Gwytherin, Conwy, North Wales.

Grug’s mother, Einir Williams, has said the bad broadband is affecting local pupils.

Ms Williams told BBC Wales: ‘Since Grug moved up to secondary school I’ve noticed a bigger difference than when she was in primary.

‘Because of the homework being centred around the children having to do research themselves on the internet and trying to upload photos can take ages if we can get on the internet at all.’

Einir Williams has to drive her daughter Grug (pictured together) to a layby a mile away from their house because the internet connection at home is so bad

Openreach, part of the BT group, said it was extending fibre broadband, but understood the frustration in areas that can’t yet access it.

Grug, who is a pupil at Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy in Llanrwst, and her mother have to go to the layby or to Ms Williams’s sister-in-law’s house to access 4G.

She said: ‘It’s handy for pictures and facts for the work. In art I had to get a picture of a building and copy it and there wasn’t enough internet so we had to go to my auntie’s house.’

Grug and Ms Williams have to create a hotspot with a mobile phone to use a laptop.

Ms Williams added: ‘It is more stressful and it does eat into our time as a family as well.

‘By the time we get home and have supper then it’s time to think of jumping in the car and finding wi-fi whether it’s in a layby to get 4G or going to my sister-in-law’s house.’

Grug and Ms Williams have to create a hotspot with a mobile phone to use a laptop. Ms Williams said: ‘It is more stressful and it does eat into our time as a family as well’

A Conwy Council councillor told the BBC the lack of internet connection was creating ‘digital inequality’.

Garffild Lloyd Lewis said: ‘It’s not a gap, it’s not a digital divide, it’s a digital inequality – that young people are forced to go away from their homes to stay on after school to do their homework, to do their research and not be able to do that at home because of this lack of connectivity.’

The Welsh government said the Superfast Cymru programme is providing superfast broadband to areas without cover.

A spokesman said: ‘We want to go further though and earlier this year we announced a range of measures to further extend fast and reliable broadband coverage in Wales.’

An Openreach spokesman said: ‘More than 750,000 homes and businesses can access superfast speeds above 30Mbps today thanks to the project – far more than was originally planned under the contract.

‘We understand the frustration of those communities, such as Gwytherin, who currently cannot access fibre broadband.’ 

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