Barry, the town famed as the home of BBC comedy series Gavin and Stacey, has been announced as the latest location in Wales to benefit from Openreach’s rollout of some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK.
The announcement comes as filming has been taking place for the return of the show in a highly anticipated 2019 Christmas special.
Tens of thousands of residents and businesses across the popular seaside town are set to benefit with work to build the new network expected to start in October following a period of planning and surveying.
It’s part of Openreach’s ‘Fibre First‘ programme where fibre optic cables are laid from the exchange right to people’s front doors.
The Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) infrastructure, will future proof homes and businesses in Barry for decades to come providing a boost to the local economy.
FTTP has the potential to bring speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), which is about 24 times faster than the current UK average of 46 megabits per second (Mbps). These speeds will allow Barry based fans of the hit sitcom ‘Gavin & Stacey’, to download boxsets of their favourite show in seconds rather than minutes.
Welcoming the announcement Alun Cairns MP for Vale of Glamorgan, said: “I am delighted that Barry will be one of the first communities to benefit from Openreach’s latest rollout of future-proof fast broadband.”
“I am passionate about working towards the regeneration of Barry and I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in recent times. Improving access to high speed broadband puts us in an even better position to attract more investment to Barry and it will be a significant boost to our local economy. This is fantastic news for local residents and businesses.”
Barry join Cardiff and Swansea in the first tranche of ‘Fibre First’ locations while more are expected to be announced across Wales shortly.
Kim Mears, Openreach’s managing director for Strategic Infrastructure Development, said:
“We’ve already done, and will continue to do, an incredible amount of work across Wales in improving access to better broadband connectivity – both in rural and urban parts of the country.”
“Our ‘Fibre First’ programme is about future proofing that network so that it meets the needs of both families and businesses for generations to come.
“Our engineers are already working hard and reaching homes and businesses every week in Cardiff and Swansea as part of our ‘Fibre First’ roll-out and I’m delighted that Barry is the latest location in Wales to benefit from this commitment.”
Openreach recently raised its target for full fibre connections from three to four million premises by March 2021, with an ambition to reach 15 million homes and businesses by the mid-2020s if the right investment conditions are in place.
The business doubled its FTTP footprint last year and continues to ramp up the build – making the technology available to more than 20,000 new homes and businesses every week across the UK.
More than 1.5 million homes and businesses in the UK now have access to faster, more reliable and future-proof, full fibre broadband services over the Openreach network.
Since the launch of Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ build programme in February last year, its engineers have deployed around 2.6 million kilometres of fibre– enough to travel to the moon and back three times.
Openreach’s commitment to Wales extends far beyond making faster broadband available.
Openreach recently established a new Board for Wales. The Openreach Cymru Wales Board, whose members represent the teams of engineers and support staff working across Wales, will provide guidance and direction to the organisation throughout the nation.
Around 1800 Openreach employees live and work in Wales and in the past 24 months the organisation has recruited around 450 new fibre engineers.