Collaboration delivers upgraded broadband

Posted: 11th October 2021

One of the key priorities identified by respondents to the Community Survey undertaken last year by the Clarence Hall, was an upgrade to the Hall’s wifi and broadband provision.

Now, in an example of true collaboration, Crickhowell and District U3A and the Clarence Hall Trustees have delivered on this requirement, enabling the Association’s monthly meeting to be reconfigured in the post lockdown environment.

The U3A has almost 400 members and, since its inception, has met, as a body, every month at the Clarence Hall.  In fact, to this effect, the Hall and the Association have become almost synonymous.  Unfortunately, just now, and for the foreseeable future, Covid social distancing has put paid to the usual monthly meeting, and so, in response, a joint team has pooled expertise and resources to turn the Hall into a “Portal”.  This Portal idea turns the Hall into a large living room, with the its cinema screen acting as the monitor.

The arrangement, as it currently stands, allows those who have no computer access to safely hear and see the monthly meeting in the Hall, while the “Zoomers” can access the proceedings at home.  The guest speaker can be anywhere.

As David Jeremiah, a Trustee of the Clarence Hall and a founding member of the U3A said: “This setup puts paid to the notion that the oldies of this world are dependent on their grandchildren to function in the digital diaspora and shows what can be achieved when people come together.”

The spinoff from all of this is that the Hall now has a superfast broadband connection and the U3A has state of the art AV expertise.  Never at rest, both bodies are now setting up cashless payment systems in the Hall and are looking to match their newfound expertise with new audio equipment.

In the medium term, there is no reason why the High School could not tap into this facility and stream drama productions, shows and award ceremonies, enabling parents and grandparents to participate, wherever they are!