100 hard to reach communities in Wales can now access superfast fibre-optic broadband after Superfast Cymru connected over 190,000 new premises to the network.
A Welsh Government announcement explained that communities in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Ceredigion, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan, have benefited from the roll out.
The work involved 100 telephone exchanges and it is part of a wider scheme that wants to bring speeds of up to 24Mbps to 96 per cent of homes and businesses in Wales by 2016.
“Reaching the 100 exchange area milestone is wonderful news - but we’re not resting,” said Ed Hunt, Superfast Cymru programme director. “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.”
The project is a joint venture between the Welsh Government and BT with the former providing £205 million in funding and the other £220 million coming from the telecoms firm.
“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,” added Ken Skates, deputy minister for skills and technology. “Our plans for superfast broadband are the most ambitious in the UK providing faster broadband to a greater proportion of premises more quickly.”
Wales is currently behind the rest of the UK when it comes to the roll out of superfast broadband and this is despite the fact that the proportion of premises with access has increased from 48 per cent to 58 per cent over the past year.