Two more South Wales communities can now take advantage of high speed fibre broadband as part of the Superfast Cymru programme, the Welsh Government and BT announced today.
The first homes and businesses in Ferndale and Porth in Rhondda Cynon Taf now have access to the technology with engineers expecting to complete the roll-out by late Summer 2014.
They follow Mountain Ash, Hirwaun, Pentyrch (Cardiff), Blaina (Blaenau Gwent) and Bedlinog (Merthyr) that went live towards the end of last year.
The Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology today met the BT Openreach project team behind the installation of the new cabinets in Porth to discuss how Superfast Cymru deployment plans were progressing
Superfast Cymru, a partnership between Welsh Government and BT, with additional funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and the European Regional Development Fund, is taking fibre broadband to parts of the country not covered by commercial plans.
Engineers have now installed nearly 300 new fibre broadband cabinets and more than 500 kilometres of fibre cable, enough to run all the way by road from Haverfordwest to Folkestone, since the programme was launched in July 2012.
The Deputy Minister said: “In just over two years our aim is that 96 per cent of properties in Wales will have access to fast fibre broadband thanks to Superfast Cymru. This is a far-reaching and ambitious project but we’re making good progress and are already ahead of schedule.
“I’m delighted that Ferndale and Porth are the latest communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf to have access to reliable, fast-fibre broadband. This will revolutionise the way people in the area use the internet in the homes, allowing them to do much more online without the risk of their connection slowing down.
“Whether it’s streaming films, downloading music or researching for homework, fast-fibre broadband will change the way you work and live. Fast fibre broadband will be a real game changer for businesses across Rhondda Cynon Taf, helping them to access new markets, carry out transactions more quickly and boost their profits. This will all contribute to increased economic activity within the area”
BT’s own commercial programme has already reached more than 600,000 homes and Ed Hunt BT programme director for Superfast Cymru, added: “We are making excellent progress here in Wales with more rural communities joining the broadband revolution every month. Passing the 100,000 mark by the end of the year was an important milestone for this project but we are not resting on our laurels. We are pressing on, ahead of schedule, spreading this game changing technology the length and breadth of Wales.
“We recognise how important fibre broadband is for people at home and for businesses in rural as well as urban area and that is why we are making sure that some of the most remote parts of Wales get the chance to benefit from this fibre network.”
Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. . In addition to download speeds in excess of 30Mbps, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps - and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
Fast fibre broadband access is offered to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, underpinning a competitive market.
Further details of the programme, including areas in Wales that are part of the roll-out, are available on the Superfast Cymru website www.superfast-cymru.com.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Openreach is considering alternative solutions for these locations.
Super-fast fibre optic broadband can be delivered as “fibre to the cabinet” (FTTC) or “fibre to the premises” (FTTP). FTTC is where the fibre connection is from the exchange to the street side cabinet with the remainder of the connection being over copper. Superfast Cymru will provide the majority of business and residential premises with the capability of accessing broadband at speeds in excess of 30Mbps by 2016. This is in line with the EU's policy of widespread Superfast broadband access by 2020. The programme will also enable access to speeds of over 100Mbps in a significant number of areas of Wales.
Further information about next generation broadband is available from www.bt.com/ngb
About the Welsh Government and Superfast Cymru
The Welsh Government is the devolved Government for Wales. We are working to help improve the lives of people in Wales and make our nation a better place in which to live and work.
The Welsh Government and BT are working in partnership on the 'Superfast Cymru' programme to develop a nationwide superfast broadband infrastructure.
Superfast Cymru will boost commercial roll-out and help the Welsh Government achieve its target to deliver high speed fibre broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in Wales by 2016.
Superfast Cymru is set to transform the broadband landscape in Wales and to promote economic growth and sustainable jobs in Wales. We have estimated that up to 2,500 further full times jobs could be created throughout the Welsh economy over time. It will ensure we are at the forefront of the global digital economy and help to champion Wales as a great place to live, work, invest and visit.
About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk