Openreach is continuing its commercial build across Wales as part of a £15bn UK-wide investment.
The telecommunications company, which is wholly owned by BT Group, has issued a progress update on its £180m investment to deploy full fibre broadband across Wales. The firm now covers more than 600,000 homes and businesses in Wales.
However, the company has said more areas are set to benefit as engineers start work extending the full-fibre network in areas such as Llanelli, Llandudno and Ebbw Vale.
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Openreach has been working with the Welsh Government to bring full-fibre broadband to thousands of additional homes in rural parts of Wales via a £52.5m state-aid supported Phase 2 Superfast Cymru contract.
This forms part of Openreach’s wider £15bn investment to cover 25m premises by December 2026.
Suzanne Rutherford, chief engineer for Wales, said: “Research shows that this new network will give businesses an edge and provide families and home-workers with future-proof connectivity, no matter what life throws at us next.
“Our investment across Wales continues at pace, and we’re determined to deliver a great service which helps our communities to thrive and supports people to work from home easily, keep in touch with their loved ones and build connections and opportunities.”
She added: “Gigabit-capable broadband can have a huge impact on people’s lives and it’s great for the economy, but upgrades aren’t automatic. People need to place an order with their chosen providers to get connected and we’ll do the rest. Our network offers the widest choice of providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen – which means people have lots of choice and can get a great deal.
“Even if you already have a decent enough service, it’s worth checking if you can upgrade, because full fibre is the future, and it provides the best broadband experience at great value for money. There’ll be no more worrying that your video call might freeze, or your files are failing to upload when everyone’s at home competing for bandwidth at the same time.”
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According to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), connecting all premises in Wales to full fibre broadband would create a £2bn boost to the local economy.
Welsh Government Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “Fast and reliable broadband is more important than ever. Our Digital Strategy for Wales sets out the importance of digital connectivity to homes and businesses across the country as a key utility and this welcome investment reflects the efforts of the telecommunications industry to continually improve the services available.”
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