100 hard to reach communities in Wales are now able to access 'superfast' fibre-optic delivered broadband, now Superfast Cymru connected over 190,000 new premises to the network.
Superfast Cymru is a £425m joint venture between the Welsh Government and BT that is trying to build on commercial roll-outs of fibre broadband in the country with Cardiff's aim being that 96% of the Principality's homes and businesses will have access to 24Mbps broadband by 2016.
A Welsh Government announcement this week says communities in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Ceredigion, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan are now hooked up.
“Reaching the 100 exchange area milestone is wonderful news - but we’re not resting,” enthused 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.”
Superfast Cymru is funded via £205m from the Welsh public sector and the other £220m 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.”
The need for the project comes clearer when it is realised that Wales is currently behind the rest of the UK when it comes to the roll out of superfast broadband.
This is despite the fact that the proportion of premises with access has increased from 48% to 58% over the past year, according to official figures.