£8 Million Openreach Full Fibre Upgrade to Transform Blaenau Gwent Connectivity

Openreach’s ambitious project to bring high-speed, reliable ‘full fibre’ broadband to Blaenau Gwent is well underway, with Nick Smith MP recently visiting Openreach engineers involved in this transformative initiative.

This substantial investment, totaling around £8 million, aims to provide some of the fastest and most dependable broadband speeds in the region, benefiting approximately 30% of properties across the Blaenau Gwent constituency. The project has already connected numerous homes and businesses to this advanced broadband network, contributing to improved connectivity and digital inclusion in the area.

The tour commenced at the Merthyr telephone exchange, where Nick Smith MP observed a crucial aspect of the Full Fibre network’s construction: fibre splicing. This intricate process involves fusing two ends of fiber optic glass cable, each no wider than a human hair. Fiber splicing is a fundamental part of Openreach’s Full Fibre network, which has already connected over 10 million properties across the UK.

Following the visit to the Merthyr exchange, the tour proceeded approximately 16km to Ebbw Vale, where the ‘final stage’ of the Openreach Full Fibre network in Blaenau Gwent is taking shape. Local engineers explained the implementation of this groundbreaking technology, which promises to revolutionize connectivity for communities in the region.

The benefits of this investment are far-reaching. Residents and businesses in Blaenau Gwent can anticipate improved connectivity, reduced latency, and the capacity to harness bandwidth-intensive applications and services. Moreover, ultrafast broadband has the potential to attract new businesses, stimulate economic growth, and promote digital inclusion by providing equal opportunities for education, employment, and innovation.

Nick Smith MP expressed his satisfaction with Openreach’s progress in delivering full fibre connectivity to Blaenau Gwent, highlighting the increasing importance of robust broadband in daily life. He emphasized the significance of this local investment, particularly in ensuring that both urban and rural areas of his constituency have access to this vital technology.

Martin Williams, Partnership Director for Wales, hosted the visit and shared insights into Openreach’s ultrafast network. He stressed Openreach’s commitment to enhancing digital infrastructure and narrowing the digital divide. Williams encouraged local residents to stay informed about the project’s progress and advised them to check the Openreach fibre checker, which regularly updates build progress and availability of full fibre in specific areas.

Jonny Rae

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