Work to start in every telephone exchange area across Wales as superfast broadband roll-out gathers pace

The Welsh Government and BT announced today [Thursday, 16 October] that work is planned to start in every telephone exchange in Wales by the end of September 2015 bringing superfast internet speeds to even more villages and towns across the country. 

Communities where work is set to begin before the end of September 2015 as part of the Superfast Cymru programme include Aberdaron in Gwynedd, Capel Curig and Dolgarrog in Conwy, Brechfa in Carmarthenshire and Skenfrith in Monmouthshire. They will join hundreds of communities across Wales where fast fibre broadband is already live or due to be switched on.

Revealing year three of the SFC programme, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James said: “The Superfast Cymru programme is ambitious and challenging, bringing fast fibre broadband across Wales. We should not underestimate the sheer scale of it.

“ From Aberdaron in Gwynedd to Skenfrith in Monmouthshire communities will have the option of accessing fast fibre broadband. This is a tremendous achievement and excellent news for businesses and households.

“ By the time the Superfast Cymru programme is completed in Spring 2016 Wales will be one of the most highly connected countries in Europe with 96 per cent of premises able to access faster internet speeds.”

One of the many Welsh businesses already benefiting from superfast broadband is The Factory in Rhondda Cynon Taff. The Factory includes an art gallery, hosts local learning events and rents office space for local businesses. Fast fibre broadband thanks to Superfast Cymru has made a big difference.

Elise Stewart from the Factory said: “Superfast broadband is a no brainer economic necessity; a must for all businesses that want to operate in the knowledge based economy. You probably think know what you are missing already if you deal in rich content without enhanced speed, but on getting it you’ll be blown away as you realise the real and tangible difference it makes.”

The Superfast Cymru programme, a partnership between BT and the Welsh Government, is a huge undertaking laying 17,500kms of optical fibre cable and installing around 3,000 new green roadside cabinets across Wales.

So far, over 230,000 homes and businesses have access to fibre broadband and work has already begun in every single local authority area in Wales with approximately 400 engineers having worked more than 400,000 hours on the project.

Ann Beynon, BT Director for Wales, said: “ This is big news for Wales as people will now know when work will start for every single telephone exchange in Wales.”

“ It’s probably the biggest engineering programme Wales has seen in the last ten years with the potential to improve the lives of individuals, families and businesses across Wales.

“ Through BT’s own commercial roll-out and now with Superfast Cymru we are taking world class speeds the length and breadth of Wales.

“ I’m particularly proud of our engineers who are working incredibly hard in often very rural and challenging areas to bring the benefits of superfast broadband to Wales.”

Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report, published in August, credited the Superfast Cymru programme for driving superfast broadband coverage in Wales.

Fibre broadband will help transform the broadband landscape across Wales and enable local businesses to compete on a global level. High-speed broadband makes it possible for businesses to be located anywhere and improve opportunities for business creativity and entrepreneurship. It will allow both urban and rural businesses, particularly SMEs to innovate, open up new markets and increase their sales volume. It has the capacity to improve the supply-chain, through effective data sharing, etc. It will enable businesses to access new technologies such as cloud computing and to make use of enhanced collaboration tools and hosted applications.

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.

£205m of funding has been provided by 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 who want superfast speeds need to contact an internet service provider (ISP) so sign up to receive fast fibre – the upgrade is not automatic. 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.

To find out when fibre broadband is coming to your area visit the Superfast Cymru website where information is provided for each postcode area in addition to the expected speed for each property:

Communities scheduled where work is set to begin by the end of September 2015
Gwynedd: Aberdaron
Conwy: Capel Curig, Dolgarrog, Dolwen, Llanfairtalhaiarn, Llangernyw, Penmachno, Pentrefoelas
Denbighshire:, Llannefydd, Nantglyn,
Carmarthenshire: Brechfa, Dryslwyn, Gwynfe, Madox, Rhandirmwyn
Flintshire: Saughall
Monmouthshire: Crucorney, Dingestow, Ponrilas, Shirenewton, Skenfrith, Tintern, Trelleck, Wolvesnewton
Pembrokeshire: Angle, Castle Martin, Clarbeston, Cynghordy, Llanteg, Llawhaden, Maenclochog, Martletwy, Puncheston, Rhos, St Nicholas
Powys: Beguildy, Llananno, Llangunllo, Llanwddyn, Painscastle, Pantydwr
Wrexham: Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog

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

The latest images of the Superfast Cymru roll-out are available for download at:

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