In patnership with BT, the project will oversee a £425 million overhaul of broadband connections across the country. The project is the largest partnership of its kind in the UK, and will be funded by a mixture of private and public investment.
The initiative is the next step in meeting the Welsh Government’s commitment to delivering high speed broadband across the country. It is hoped that the new fibre connections will be available to 96% of homes and businesses across Wales by 2015. For many users, this will signal an increase of speed of up to 15 times, and the facilitiy for even faster connection speeds should businesses require it.
According to Ofcom, more than 20% of Welsh homes can currently only receive a broadband connection of no more than 2Mbps. When the new upgrads are complete, this figure will drop to 2%, with the Welsh Government creating plans to overcome the remaining slow connections.
Wales’ First Minister commented: “This is an incredibly important agreement for Wales. Our partnership with BT will see to it that Wales does more than simply catch up with our neighbours; we intend to catch-up, overtake and then set the pace that others will strive to match.”
The funding for the project will predominantly come from BT, with them investing approximately £220 million. The Welsh Government is contributing £58 million. The Government has also acquired funding of £57 million from Broadband Delivery UK, and £90 million from the European Regional Development Fund.