O2 saves the day: Rural Welsh village Staylittle is finally hooked up to the internet

 
Oliver Gill
Follow Oliver
Staylittle, known in Welsh as Penffordd-las, lies north of the Clywedog reservoir

Think big, Britain's tech sector is often told. But mobile firm O2 appears to prefer to Staylittle.

Set in the rural setting of Powys, Wales, the village of Staylittle was cut off from all telecommunications 18 months ago.

In the Summer of 2015 the 150 or so residents of the village were left with only one working landline in the local Post Office. It was their only portal to the outside world and the nearest village is eight miles away.

Read more: Fiver not fibre: O2 boss makes the case for 5G

But O2 has come to rescue, erecting a 4G mobile mast to bring Staylittle out of the dark ages and back into the 21st century.


(Source: O2)

Becky Williams, who runs Kids Closet, a children’s clothing company from said:

Having mobile internet access has already made a big difference to the local community. We’re all very happy to be able to connect online with our family and friends – a luxury that is often taken for granted elsewhere in the UK.

Read more: Six things you need to know about 4.5G... and yes, it is a thing

Meanwhile, Welsh assembly member for Montgomeryshire and chair of the economy, infrastructure and skills committee Russell George said O2's move had "guaranteed to improve the lives of those living in Staylittle".

O2 said a further 400 Welsh villages are set to benefit from its pledge to improve rural network coverage from now until the end of the year. The firm invests more than £2m every day to develop its network across the UK.

Read more: Rolling out 5G will keep the UK a tech leader

Chief technology officer at O2 Brendan O’Reilly said: “At O2, we pride ourselves on listening to customers, but we also listen to communities who have yet to feel part of a digitally connected Britain.

Ever since we heard Staylittle’s story in 2015, we’ve worked tirelessly to get its residents to this point – where they can make calls and access the internet and social media on the move just like most of the country.

Related articles