Superfast Cymru has provided almost 733,000 premises across Wales with access to fast fibre broadband, Leader of the House with responsibility for digital Julie James has announced.
Of these 717,000 can achieve speeds of at least 30Mbps with the remainder achieving speeds of at least 24Mbps.
Wales has also been at the forefront of deploying fibre to the premises technology with nearly 48,700 of the total number of premises given access this way, all of which are now capable of receiving speeds of over 100Mbps.
None of the almost 733,000 premises would have received access to fast fibre broadband without the intervention of Superfast Cymru, a partnership between the Welsh Government, Openreach, European Regional Development Fund and UK Government.
Over half of all homes and businesses across Wales now with access to fast fibre broadband have it as a direct result of Superfast Cymru which could only go where commercial companies had no plans to do so. When combined with commercial rollout the vast majority of premises in Wales can now access the technology.
Julie James said:
“Superfast Cymru has undoubtedly been a success and has delivered a real step change in the availability of superfast broadband across the whole country. Of all those with access in Wales over half are as a result of our intervention – that in itself shows the positive impact this programme has had.
“Whole local authority areas would have been untouched by superfast broadband rollout without Superfast Cymru – now there is not one local authority area without access. Wales has some of the highest speeds in the UK in remote areas with the use of Fibre to the Premises.
“Deploying broadband at this scale and pace in the Welsh landscape, particularly rural areas, has proved extremely challenging and innovative solutions have had to be used at times such as drones.
“While the programme has successfully changed the digital landscape in Wales, I am very aware that there remain premises without access and we are now working on how to reach these.”
Kim Mears, managing director for Openreach, said:
“We’re very proud of what we’ve delivered in Wales.
“Superfast Cymru was an enormous engineering project with a complex set of challenges, but our engineers have risen to the task, delivering one of the outstanding digital network roll-outs in Europe.
“Building fast and reliable broadband infrastructure is another step towards Wales becoming a truly united and connected nation. Thanks to this project, homes and businesses in some of the most rural parts of Wales now have fast and reliable connections that will support all manner of data-hungry services and applications, such as telehealth, virtual and augmented reality and smart home devices, for decades into the future.
“Fibre broadband coverage has more than doubled as a result of our roll-out, and Wales now has the largest full fibre to the home footprint in Britain.
“Wales can confidently claim to having better superfast broadband coverage than Germany, France, Spain and Italy, but we’re also mindful that some communities are still waiting to gain access to better connections. We’re more determined than any other business to reach these remaining areas and we’ll continue to offer a solution through our Community Fibre Partnership programme. We’re also committed to exploring the alternatives with Welsh Government to make decent broadband a reality for all.”