An Openreach pledge back in January to make ultrafast, ultra-reliable and future-proof broadband available to a number of market towns and rural locations across Wales is starting to become a reality in Merthyr Tydfil.
More than 1200 Merthyr homes and businesses can now access ‘full fibre’ broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1000Mbps) – that’s among the fastest speeds in Europe and more than 15 times faster than today’s UK average broadband speed.
As designated key workers, Openreach engineers have been hard at work throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, building the new digital network of the future that uses the latest Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology.
The new technology is already ‘live’ in parts of Merthyr Tydfil and people living in streets such as Heol-y-Bryniau, Farm Terrace, Coronation Terrace and Heol Nangau can now place an order.
More and more properties across Merthyr are set to benefit from this next generation network over the coming weeks and months as Openreach engineers connect around 300 properties a week.
Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Partnership Director for Wales, said: “We’re making great progress here in both Merthyr Tydfil and the rest of Wales. Despite the obvious challenges our full fibre build has continued. As well as keeping people connected using our existing network, our engineers have continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, we can support families, businesses and the economic recovery.”
“I’d encourage everyone who can to upgrade to the new technology and take advantage of the many benefits. Full fibre is more reliable and more resilient, meaning fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds. It’s also ‘future-proof’ as we expect it to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies for decades to come.”
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Digital Champion Cllr David Hughes said: “It’s fantastic news that our residents and businesses now have access to some of the fastest broadband speeds not only in Wales, but in Europe.
“It’s particularly good for our booming local economy which is constantly welcoming new companies that want to set up here because of our great location, wide range of business premises, workforce and support on offer from the Council’s economic development team and partners.
“We’d like to thank Openreach for deciding to use Merthyr Tydfil to install this technology and for continuing to work right through lockdown to make it happen.”
The original pledge in January was boosted in July with a further announcement by Openreach to bring full fibre to 3.2 million more premises across the UK, including the following locations in South Wales: Abercynon, Ferndale, Mountain Ash, Llantwit Fardre, Llantrisant, Caerphilly, Cross Keys, Rhymney, Brynmawr and Cwm.