Welsh broadband rollout hits target

More than 44,000 homes and businesses across Wales now have access to improved connectivity thanks to the rollout of full fibre broadband.

A four-year project, a partnership between the Welsh Government and Openreach, is now complete and has given access to full fibre connectivity to thousands more properties than the original target of 39,000.

The project was funded by the Welsh Government and the EU, along with Openreach and the UK government. and has also come in under its original budget of £57 million.

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."

The Grade 1 listed Picton Castle in Pembrokeshire is one of the buildings to benefit. It is hoped 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, said: "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."


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