Superfast Cymru: more communities in Wales set to benefit from fibre broadband

More communities in Wales will get high speed fibre broadband by summer 2015 as part of the Superfast Cymru roll-out, the Welsh Government and BT announced today.

Monmouthshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Conwy are among the areas that are set to benefit as a result of today’s announcement which also includes the commencement of work in 35 exchange areas earlier than originally anticipated.

Sixty six new locations across 10 local authority areas are set to be enabled for high speed fibre, by June 2015.

Once the roll-out is finished in the areas confirmed today, more than 500,000 homes and businesses the length and breadth of Wales will be able to access the technology during summer 2015 which provides speeds many times faster than those available today.

They will join hundreds of communities in Wales which are already live or due to be switched on as part of Superfast Cymru between now and next year. It is expected that this announcement will help extend the availability of fibre broadband to more than 75 per cent of Welsh homes and businesses when areas covered by the private sector are also taken into account

Superfast Cymru will help the Welsh Government achieve its overall aim of extending fibre broadband to 96 per cent of homes and businesses in Wales by the end of the project in spring 2016.

The announcement of the next stage of Superfast Cymru comes as the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates, officially opens BT’s new office in Newtown which is a focal point for the programme’s activity in Mid and North Wales. The Deputy Minister will meet people working on the ground bringing fast fibre broadband to communities, including apprentices recruited by BT.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates said: “ Superfast Cymru is one of the most ambitious programmes of its kind, bringing fast fibre broadband to areas which otherwise would not receive it. I am pleased today to be able to announce the next phase of this programme, which shows how more and more communities are set to benefit.

“By the time Superfast Cymru is completed in 2016 Wales will be one of the most connected countries in the world. It is a huge undertaking with 3,000 green roadside cabinets to be installed and around 17,500kms of optical fibre cable to be laid.
“The sheer scale of the programme means not everyone can receive it at the same time but today’s announcement shows how we are moving ahead toward our goal of providing 96 per cent of premises in Wales with access to superfast broadband.”

Ed Hunt, BT programme director for Superfast Cymru added: “We are making great progress, passing on average more than 5,000 premises a week with fibre broadband between now and the end of March 2015. Through this programme we expect to reach close to half a million premises by summer 2015 with a year still to go. That’s nearly a third of all homes and businesses in Wales, and three quarters when combined with BT’s own commercial roll-out.

“We know how important it is that as many people as possible can take advantage of fibre broadband. Through BT’s own commercial roll-out and now with Superfast Cymru we are taking world class speeds the length and breadth of Wales, including rural and urban areas.

“It is vital that we do all we can to keep people in Wales as up to date as we possibly can on the roll-out and the website is a great place to get the latest details.

“ All exchanges in Wales are in scope of the programme and those not revealed in today’s announcement will be announced in due course.”

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.
For full details of the benefits of fast fibre broadband, how to register for updates on when it’s coming to an area and how to access it visit the Superfast Cymru website: www.superfast-cymru.com

Openreach, BT’s local network business, is primarily deploying fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, where the fibre runs from the exchange to a local roadside cabinet. In addition to download speeds generally above 30 Mbps and up to 80Mbps, FTTC also delivers upload speeds of up to 20Mbps1 — and could deliver even faster speeds in the future.
According to the regulator Ofcom, the current average UK residential broadband download speed is 14.7Mbps. The Superfast Cymru roll-out will significantly increase that average speed. To date the average potential download speed in areas already covered by superfast broadband in Wales is recorded as 61mbps.

At home, fibre broadband enables a family to simultaneously download a movie, watch a TV replay service, surf the internet and play games online all at the same time. A whole album can be downloaded in less than 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie in less than 10 minutes, whilst high-resolution photos can be uploaded to Facebook in seconds.
The high-speed network installed by Openreach will be available from a number of suppliers providing broadband services to homes and businesses.

Detailed 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 today. You can also keep in touch with the programme via social media on Twitter (@superfastcymru) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/superfast-cymru .


Notes to Editors

Communities scheduled to be enabled by the end of June 2015

Carmarthenshire: Ammanford, Cynwyl Elfed, Laugharne, Llanboidy, Llanddarog, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanpumsaint, Nantgaredig, Talley, Burry Port, Clynderwen, Ferryside, Kidwelly, Llangennech, Llanstephan, Pendine, Pontyates, Pontyberem, St Clears, Trimsaran, Whitland, Llangadog

Conwy: Betws- Y- Coed, Dolwyddelan, Llanrwst, Llansannan, Colwyn Bay, Penmaenmawr, Rhos-on-Sea, Tynygroes, Old Colwyn

Ceredigion: Glandyfi, Llangeitho, Llangrannog, Bancyfelin, Broadhaven, Rhydlewis

Denbighshire: Clawdd Newydd,

Monmouthshire: Cross Ash, Gobion, Little Mill, Llantilio, Raglan,

Pembrokeshire: Camrose, Carew, Croes Goch, Dale, Fishguard, Lamphey, Letterston, Manorbier, Narberth, St Davids, Treffgarne

Powys: Bucknell, Glasbury, Llangadfan, Llansilan, Meifod,, Cemmaes Road, Llyswen,

Swansea: Pontarddulais

RCT: Tonyrefail

Wrexham: Bettisfield

The 35 exchanges being brought forward are in addition to the 6 (Cross Hands, Tenby, Saundersfoot, Abergele, Llandudno, and Aberconwy) that were announced in June.

1 These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

The latest images of the Superfast Cymru roll-out are available for download at: http://imagelibrary.btplc.com/assetbank-btplc/action/browseItems?categoryId=597&categoryTypeId=1

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