​​Swansea bar hits the airwaves thanks to ultrafast broadband

​The Hyst Bar has turned itself as a live music and entertainments venue and plans to become a broadcaster with its own TV channel – all thanks to ultrafast broadband.

Bar becomes live entertainment venue complete with TV & radio studio powered by ultrafast technology

The Hyst Bar has turned itself as a live music and entertainments venue and plans to become a broadcaster with its own TV channel – all thanks to ultrafast broadband.

Formerly known as the Coast Italia restaurant, the High Street based outlet is one of around 35 businesses piloting the latest ultrafast technology, known as G.fast[1], a broadband service capable of delivering download speeds of up to 330Mbps – more than 10 times the UK national average.

The newly transformed venue now boasts its own purpose built digital TV and radio studio along with a stage area for featuring live performances from local bands to interviews with local celebrities.

The project, which launched in March, is a collaboration between local restaurateur, Dan Evans, Ed Thomas, the production designer responsible for Dr Who, Torchwood and Resident Evil, and singer, songwriter and BBC Radio Wales presenter Mal Pope.

Dan said they hope the new venture will provide a platform to help promote new up and coming bands and performers from the arts world as well as exposing The Hyst to a wider audience.

Ultrafast broadband speeds allow Hyst to stream TV quality images from live performances to social media channels like YouTube and Facebook. They’re currently working with local cable channel Bay TV to broadcast content - with plans to launch their own dedicated cable channel in the near future, featuring daily broadcasts.

Dan said: “We started out three years ago as a restaurant but is has only been in the last few months that this has all taken off. We started doing more light entertainment and that started to take over from the food side, so we decided to expand.

“We got ultrafast installed last year and on the back of that we thought about showcasing the acts that played and thought ‘why not film it and start broadcasting to a wider audience?’”

“The concept is a bit like BBC Two’s Later…with Jools Holland or Channel Four’s TFI Friday. People can sit and eat or wander around with a drink from the bar and watch a band in a relaxed atmosphere.

“We’ve got cameras around the place so we can film everything – we even thought about having guest chefs with live cameras so people in the bar can see their food being cooked.”

The venue has already hosted Scottish pop rock back Texas and live interviews with Swansea runner Matthew Rees - who hit the headlines after stopping to help fellow marathon runner David Wyeth over the finishing line.

Dan said: “It is no exaggeration to say that we couldn’t physically do any of this without having the ultrafast broadband to power it all. Digitally broadcasting TV quality live or recorded content uses up a lot of bandwidth and without the ultrafast speeds it just wouldn’t work. It has helped what was a small independent business move onto the next level.”

Around 13,000 households and businesses in Swansea and locations including, Gowerton, Landore, Townhill and Oystermouth, are set to benefit from the high-speed service as Openreach has begun switching on the pilot areas for its new ultrafast broadband network.

The faster speeds that ultrafast broadband brings means a two hour HD film can be downloaded in just 90 seconds, a 45 minute HD TV show in just 16 seconds and a nine hour audio book in just three seconds.

People living in the pilot areas who want to try the new service should contact their internet service provider to see if they’re offering a service, and to find out more about availability and pricing.

Ynyr Roberts, Openreach’s project director for regional infrastructure delivery in Wales, said: “These pilot schemes are hugely important to us and to the local households and businesses, which will be able to benefit from G.fast. Whether you are somebody aiming to work more efficiently or grow your business, or a busy household going online for shopping, entertainment or studies, fast access to the internet has never been more important. We know the technology works and can be a major benefit for customers, but these pilots will now help us test and improve all the factors involved in rolling out G.fast on a national scale.”

Kim Mears, Openreach managing director for infrastructure delivery, added: “The UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to superfast broadband but technology never stands still – that’s why we’re building on our existing network and leading the way in deploying ultrafast speeds.

“We need to stay ahead to meet the future needs of our customers and G.fast will help us to do that. It gives busy families and ambitious small businesses the capacity to do everything they want to do online, and it’s a technology that we can roll out more quickly than most broadband upgrade, so we’ll be getting ultrafast speeds to the largest number of people in the fastest possible time.”

Swansea was announced as a pilot location for G.fast in October 2016, as part of Openreach’s ambition to make ultrafast broadband available to 12 million UK homes by the end of 2020.

G.fast technology changes the way today’s broadband is transmitted, delivering ultrafast speeds that have previously required fibre to be run all the way to the premises (FTTP). This is significant as G.fast will enable Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, to make ultrafast fibre available to a much larger number of homes and businesses and more quickly than if it had focused on FTTP alone.

It builds on the success of the rollout of superfast broadband, which has already reached thousands of homes and businesses across Swansea and Wales.

Overall, more than nine out of ten premises across the UK can access superfast speeds today with around another 17,000 homes and businesses being enabled each week.

Following the early trials of G.fast in Cambridgeshire, Newcastle and South Wales, the 17 pilot areas have extended that reach even further – already reaching more than 100,000 homes across the UK.

People wanting to take advantage of the new ultrafast technology can find out more about which providers offer this service by visiting www.openreach.co.uk/buyultrafast

[1]G.fast is a cutting edge technology that allows us to deliver Ultrafast speeds over existing copper lines. It builds on our existing network, so it allows us to upgrade areas very quickly with minimal distruption and cost, and will evolve over time to offer even faster speeds.