More than 80 per cent of homes and businesses in Conwy County can now access superfast broadband thanks to the Superfast Cymru programme.
The rollout in the county began in November 2014 when no properties in the county had access to faster internet speeds through fibre and in just under 15 months the Superfast Cymru programme has reached over 80 per cent of premises in the county with work continuing to make it available to more properties every day.
Superfast Cymru, a partnership between the Welsh Government and BT, brings superfast broadband to areas which would otherwise not receive it.The programme is also backed by the European Regional Development Fund and Broadband Delivery UK.
The latest Ofcom report concluded that Wales has the highest availability of superfast broadband among the devolved nations.
Conwy County was one of the areas of Wales where no rollout was planned by private sector companies as they did not find it commercially viable for them alone to do it.
The Llandudno exchange area in the county now provides access to superfast broadband for 93 per cent of premises.In Penmaenmawr it is 83 per cent, Dolwyddelan 75 per cent, Dolgarrog 65 per cent and Penmachno 42 per cent.These figures will rise further as rollout progresses.
Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, are continuing to work on connecting more and more premises every day, often in challenging conditions.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James, said: “Superfast Cymru was created as large parts of Wales, such as Conwy County, were not due to receive superfast broadband in any other way.Like much of Wales, Conwy has a large rural area which presents its own challenges with the rollout.
“It is not an easy task by any means.Its sheer scale and complexity should not be underestimated.I know it is very frustrating for people who are yet to receive superfast broadband, but engineers are doing all they can to reach as many premises as possible.
“While the rollout is far from over in the county, I’m pleased that over 80 per cent of premises in Conwy can now access faster internet speeds should they wish to do so.This is a tremendous achievement in an area that only a little over twelve months ago, had no coverage at all through fibre.”
The superfast speeds enable much faster and better use of the internet. For example, all members of a household can quickly do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether that is streaming high definition films, downloading music, gaming, studying or keeping in touch with loved ones.
The Superfast Cymru programme is a huge undertaking that will involve Openreach engineers laying 17,500kms of optical fibre cable, installing around 3,000 new green roadside cabinets and sees, on average, more than 100 premises getting access to superfast broadband across Wales every hour.
To find out whether they can receive superfast broadband households and businesses can visit www.superfast-cymru.com.
If households and businesses are able to receive superfast broadband, the upgrade will not happen automatically and they should contact their Internet Service Provider (ISP) to order the new service.
The Welsh Government also provides grants for businesses to have ultrafast broadband with up to £10,000 available for the installation of the services.Households and businesses, which cannot receive superfast broadband through Superfast Cymru, can also receive grants to have faster broadband in other ways, such as satellite.
Further details on these schemes are available on: gov.wales/broadband.