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£180m broadband network reaches 600,000 across Wales

More than 600,000 homes and businesses across Wales can already order some of the fastest, most reliable broadband in Europe thanks to a £180 million(1) investment by Openreach. 

And more areas are set to benefit, as engineers are now starting work to extend the full fibre network even further to most homes and businesses in areas such as Llanelli, Llandudno and Ebbw Vale.

Full fibre is up to 16 times faster than the average UK broadband connection and around five times more reliable than the old copper-based network it’s replacing.

Welcoming Openreach’s investment 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.”

Suzanne Rutherford, Chief Engineer for Openreach in 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.

“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.”

In addition to Openreach’s commercial build across Wales – which is part of a £15 billion UK-wide investment – the network provider has also been working with the Welsh Government to bring Full Fibre broadband to thousands of additional homes in the very hardest to reach parts of Wales.

A report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) shows that connecting everyone in Wales to Full Fibre broadband would create a £2 billion boost to the local economy, by unlocking smarter ways of working, better public services and greater opportunities for the next-generation of home-grown businesses.

Openreach plans to reach 25 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2026. This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about Openreach Fibre First build programme here.