18
August
2014
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00:00
Europe/Amsterdam

100 Superfast Cymru exchanges providing faster broadband speeds

The Superfast Cymru programme is moving at speed with many homes and businesses in 100 telephone exchange areas now able to access and enjoy the benefits of superfast broadband, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates AM has said.

Over 190,000 premises are now able to benefit from fast fibre broadband in Wales, as a result of Superfast Cymru with many more expected to be able to access the resource over the next year. These include communities in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Ceredigion, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan.

Information about where and when communities will get fibre over the next 12 months as a result of Superfast Cymru has been published on www.superfast-cymru.com.

Superfast Cymru, a partnership between Welsh Government and BT, is taking fibre broadband to parts of the country not covered by commercial plans. It is the largest partnership of its kind in the UK working to give, when combined with private sector roll-outs, 96 per cent of premises in Wales access to fast fibre broadband by Spring 2016.

Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report, published last week, has credited the Superfast Cymru programme for driving superfast broadband coverage in Wales.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “Superfast broadband has the ability to transform the way we live our lives. From accessing entertainment and communicating through social media to how businesses interact with customers and develop ways of working more efficiently, fast fibre broadband opens up a whole spectrum of opportunities.

“The Welsh Government is fully committed to seeing Wales become a truly digital nation and ensuring we have the right infrastructure in place is vital in making that vision a reality.

“Our plans for superfast broadband are the most ambitious in the UK providing faster broadband to a greater proportion of premises more quickly.

“I’m very pleased that 100 exchange areas are now live in Wales thanks to the Superfast Cymru programme which means thousands of people can enjoy the benefits of faster internet speeds.

“The project continues at pace and will reach more communities and make a significant difference to businesses and households.”

Ed Hunt, Superfast Cymru Programme Director, said: “Reaching the 100 exchange area milestone is wonderful news - but we’re not stopping there.”
“ We’re carrying on our rollout and look forward to bringing superfast speeds the length and breadth of Wales. We have already made service live in 19 Local Authority areas and we’ll be in all 22 soon.
“Our rollout is providing all kinds of benefits to the people of Wales, such as improving work life balance through homeworking, on line learning, keeping in touch with friends and relatives using video conferencing applications and accessing public services”.

£205m funding has been provided by the Welsh Government, the UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund, with BT contributing a further £220m to deliver fibre across Wales via its commercial roll out and the Superfast Cymru programme.

Households and businesses are not connected to fast fibre broadband automatically. Customers who want superfast speeds need to contact an internet service provider (ISP) to sign up to receive the technology. There are several ISPs offering fibre broadband in Wales so customers can shop around and choose the package that is best for them. If they choose not to upgrade to fibre broadband, they will be able to continue using their existing broadband service.

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Notes
For information about which exchange areas are already enabled go to the coverage map on http://www.superfast-cymru.com/where-and-when

Enquiries about this news release should be made to Anne Jones at the Welsh Government press office on 029 20898564 or
Eurig Thomas at the BT Wales Press Office on 029 20 667 675 / 07442 536 639 or 0800 085 0660.
All BT news releases can be accessed at: http://www.btplc.com/News.

The latest images of the Superfast Cymru roll-out are available for download at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/107803477@N08/sets/72157644203054472/

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 BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2014, BT Group’s reported revenue was £18,287m with reported profit before taxation of £2,312m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com.

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