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Wales Continues to Benefit from Full-fibre Broadband’s Extensive Spread

Connected Nations reported that about 798,000 Welsh homes had gained access to full-fibre broadband by September 2023, a 15% rise from the previous year. There was also a 31% increase in consumption in places where broadband already existed, which was higher than the entire UK’s 28%.

How Users Are Benefiting

Many businesses and individuals have applauded the increased spread of full-fibre broadband because it is more resilient and has minimal faults than copper-based networks. For networks that combine fibre and cable, users enjoy faster speeds convenient for video calls, online entertainment, etc.

With technological advancements shaping various industries, including online entertainment, the need for faster internet speeds has become more apparent. In the iGaming sector, for example, game providers are famous for offering titles with high-tech visuals to keep players engaged. In categories like online bingo games, providers not only present traditional bingo halls on the screen but also use HD graphics to add depth to the storyline.

As networks like full-fibre broadband continue spreading, gamers stand a great chance to benefit from the network’s fast speeds, ensuring that graphics do not delay or lag during gameplay.

Even Smaller Towns Are Benefiting

Contrary to the predominant thought that urban centres in south Wales have the best broadband, Openreach, the country’s largest network provider, revealed that north Wales was also catching up. Many small towns and villages in the region dominated their list of places with the highest levels of full-fibre. Buckley in Flintshire topped this list, with over 90% of homesteads showing the capability of upgrading to ultrafast broadband. The village of Old Colwyn came second, while Llangennech village in Carmarthenshire came third.

An ISPreview report showed that Openreach had invested £240m – part of a £15bn investment to cover 25 million UK premises – to facilitate network distribution across Wales. By January 2024, the operator had already covered over 12.5 million households in the entire UK. In Wales alone, about 277,000 had upgraded to the new network, equating to a 33.95% uptake rate.

Statements from key government officials like Vaughan Gething, Wales’ Minister for the Economy, showed satisfaction that citizens could undertake their duties while enjoying gigabit-capable speeds.

Government Support Furthers the Spread

The successful partnership of the Welsh Government and Openreach has contributed to better internet connectivity in areas that are hard to reach. In another place, Openreach indicated that they reached over 44,000 homes and businesses in these areas by 2023.

David TC Davies, the Secretary of State for Wales, highlighted they were pleased to collaborate with the operator to build dynamic digital infrastructures in such areas through their popular Gigabit Voucher Scheme. With support from other partners, this four-year project exceeded its original target of reaching 39,000 homes by over 5,000.

Kim Mears, the company’s Chair of the Wales Board, lauded their penetration into more than 50% of Wales and appreciated every stakeholder who contributed to that milestone. By offering the widest choice of providers like TalkTalk and Zen, the Openreach network ensures users have a wide variety to choose the best deals.

In summary, with full-fibre broadband offering network speeds that are needed in the 21st century, we expect the Welsh economy to shift. As the government has shown commitment to enhancing connectivity within Wales, it will likely continue investing in infrastructures that allow for such transformations.