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More than 44,000 homes and businesses across Wales are benefiting from improved connectivity thanks to the Welsh Government’s rollout of fast full fibre broadband

First published:
6 December 2023
Last updated:

In partnership with Openreach, the four-year project, which has now completed, has given access to full fibre connectivity to thousands more properties than the original target of 39,000.

The rollout, which has come in under its original budget of £57 million, was thanks to Welsh Government and EU funding, investment from Openreach and support from the UK Government.

As people and businesses across Wales move towards increasingly digital lives and workplaces, the improved connectivity builds on the success of Superfast Cymru which more than doubled availability of fast broadband.

All properties that have benefitted can now access future proofed ‘fibre to the premises’ technology, which can deliver gigabit capable speeds allowing for faster downloads and smoother streaming.

Among the thousands of homes and businesses to have benefitted from the ultrafast rollout is Grade 1 listed Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire.

Earlier this year the popular tourist attraction was connected with full fibre broadband from the exchange in nearby Haverfordwest, meaning that this historic site will now be able to benefit from modern digital advancements.

Initially the faster broadband connection will make life easier for those that work at the castle through enhanced connectivity and security with the aim of improving visitor experience in the future. 

Dr Rhiannon Talbot-English, Director at Picton Castle, explains:

The rollout of full fibre has been a significant enhancement for our business.

“Prior to this connection the slow internet upload and download speeds we had meant that the range of options for improving our efficiency, cyber-security and basic business were limited.

“Our internet-based payment devices, website and email would often be overwhelmed due to the poor connectivity. This new connection has been a significant leap forward for us.”

The programme has seen full fibre broadband deployed at scale across the most rural parts of the country, with 33 apprentices also recruited to support the build and delivery.

Minister for the Economy, Vaughan Gething said:

COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work, travel and socialise which means a fast and reliable broadband connection is more important than ever – regardless of where in the country you’re based.

“While broadband isn’t devolved, we wanted to support communities where commercial companies had no plans to install full fibre broadband infrastructure and improve connectivity across all parts of Wales.

“When we started this journey in 2019, under 7% of properties in Wales could access full fibre broadband. Now I’m delighted that thanks to a combination of public and commercially funded rollouts, more than half of all homes and businesses can live, work or study with gigabit capable speeds.”

Kim Mears, Openreach Wales Board Chair, said:

Nobody is building full fibre broadband across Wales faster or wider than Openreach.”

“Both in terms of our commercial investment and the work we’ve done in partnership with the Welsh Government.

“Our ultrafast full fibre network is helping bridge the digital divide, open new markets to businesses, bring significant economic boost to local economies and help families live, work and play. 

“We’re extremely proud of the work our local engineers are doing up and down the country in both urban and rural parts of Wales and our partnership with Welsh Government is a great example of how business and Government can successfully work together for the benefit of Wales.”