With the Superfast Cymru programme said to be ‘moving at speed’, it has been announced that 100 telephone exchange areas, serving more than 190,000 premises, are now able to access superfast broadband services. Superfast Cymru is a partnership between the Welsh Government and British fixed line incumbent BT, and is working to bring fibre broadband to parts of the country not covered by commercial plans, with a view to achieving the Welsh Government’s aim of ensuring such services are available to 96% of homes and businesses by ‘spring 2016’. Some GBP205 million (USD343 million) in funding has been provided by the Welsh Government, the UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund for the programme, with BT contributing a further GBP220 million to deliver fibre across Wales via its commercial rollout and the Superfast Cymru programme.
With UK telecoms regulator Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report published last week, it credited the Superfast Cymru programme for driving superfast broadband coverage in Wales. Meanwhile, in response to the rollout landmark, Ed Hunt, programme director for Superfast Cymru, noted: ‘Reaching the 100 exchange area milestone is wonderful news – but we’re not resting … 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.’