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Work due to start in Wales to introduce superfast internet speeds

Work is due to start in every telephone exchange in Wales by the end of September next year to introduce superfast internet speeds to more villages and towns across the country.

Communities from Aberdaron in Gwynedd to Skenfrith in Monmouthshire are set to benefit from the Superfast Cymru programme. Credit: PA

Communities where work is set to begin before the end of September 2015 as part of the Superfast Cymru programme include Aberdaron in Gwynedd, Capel Curig and Dolgarrog in Conwy, Brechfa in Carmarthenshire and Skenfrith in Monmouthshire.

They will join hundreds of communities across Wales where fast fibre broadband is already live or due to be switched on.

The Superfast Cymru programme is ambitious and challenging, bringing fast fibre broadband across Wales. We should not underestimate the sheer scale of it.

From Aberdaron in Gwynedd to Skenfrith in Monmouthshire communities will have the option of accessing fast fibre broadband. This is a tremendous achievement and excellent news for businesses and households.

By the time the Superfast Cymru programme is completed in Spring 2016 Wales will be one of the most highly connected countries in Europe with 96 per cent of premises able to access faster internet speeds."

– Julie James AM, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology


One in five Welsh people have never used the internet

Latest figures show that almost one in five Welsh adults have never used the internet - many of those are older people or those living in disadvantaged communities.

This week, events are being held across Wales to encourage people to sign up for free workshops.

'Get Online Week,' aims to encourage people without digital skills to learn how to log on and start using the web in their daily lives.

20% of people in Wales have never used the internet before Credit: PA

Organisers say the 20% of people in Wales who still can't use the web and are missing out on huge opportunities to alter the way they go about their lives such as online shopping, banking,and staying in closer touch with family and friends.

Wales goes online with launch of new domain name

The new domain names will be launched later today. Credit: PA

From today businesses, communities, organisations and individuals will be able to launch their websites with the new domain name '.wales' or '.cymru'.

The launch follows a three month consultation in December 2012 which showed a backing to introduce an online identity in Wales.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones, and Dame Rosemary Butler AM will host an event to mark the launch of the domain names at the Senedd later today.

The National Eisteddfod, Welsh broadcaster S4C and the National Assembly for Wales are among some of the first organisations to switch to the new domain.


'Fastest UK broadband' offered to Cardiff residents

The fastest broadband in the UK has been made available to some residents in Cardiff - the first time it's been offered to any consumers in Wales.

Fibre was laid and the flats were networked within 3 months. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Gigabit broadband, which allows HD films to be downloaded in less than 30 seconds, has been made available to residents in Hayes Apartments, which sits above St David's shopping centre in the Welsh capital.

Hyperoptic, the company behind the installation, say millions of pounds will be invested in broadband infrastructure in Cardiff over the next few years.

We are always looking for businesses that will add to the competitiveness and growth of Cardiff. Hyperoptic will be investing £4million in broadband infrastructure in Cardiff over the next five years - supporting our local economy as well as providing a service that is miles ahead of the competition. I strongly advise residents to get behind it, the more demand we can demonstrate the faster the rollout will be.

– Ken Poole, Head of Economic Development, City of Cardiff

New DNA techniques helping with unsolved cases

Advances in DNA technology are being used to help solve what happened to Priscilla Berry.

Detectives are using advances in DNA technology to try and identify human remains discovered in North Wales in the last 50 years.

Under Operation Orchid, officers say they hope to bring closure to families who have lived with uncertainty for a long time.

Criminality is not suspected in any of the cases.

One mystery dates back to January 1980, when female human remains were recovered from the sea 15 miles off Llandudno and were interred at a local cemetery.

Police inquiries with the National Missing Persons Bureau have identified a possible match with 39-year-old Priscilla Berry, possibly of the maiden name Sturgess.

She went missing from her home in Mochdre, Colwyn Bay, in June 1978.

It is now possible to link close family members such as siblings or children through DNA. If we can locate a brother, sister or child of Mrs Berry we can take a DNA sample to compare to the remains.

Although Mrs Berry went missing over 35 years ago, we believe it is still important for her family to know what became of their relative - and we will do all we can to help.

It is by no means certain that the remains are those of Mrs Berry, but the proposed tests should provide a definitive answer.

We are therefore appealing to anyone who is related to Priscilla Berry or knows any of her family members to contact North Wales Police.

– Detective Constable Don Kenyon
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