Openreach’s Christmas Gift: Ultrafast Broadband Expansion for 9,000 More Rural Welsh Properties

In a bid to extend ultrafast broadband to remote Welsh communities, Openreach unveils plans for an additional 9,000 properties to benefit from the UK Government’s broadband voucher scheme.

Openreach, the UK’s leading digital network provider, is set to spread early Christmas cheer in rural Welsh communities. With the backing of UK Government broadband vouchers, the company aims to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to homes and businesses in 15 additional communities.

The identified communities include Beddgelert and Llandderfel in Gwynedd, Bodorgan and Llangoed in Ynys Môn, Broadhaven, Carew, Dinas Cross, and Lamphey in Pembrokeshire, Dolgarrog in Conwy, Ferryside and Pendine in Carmarthenshire, Llyswen in Powys, Rhydlewis in Ceredigion, Tredunnock in Monmouthshire, and Wick in Vale of Glamorgan.

This initiative is an extension to the 30 communities already identified across Wales, totaling nearly 17,000 properties in some of the most rural parts of the country. Openreach emphasizes that these communities must act swiftly to secure a once-in-a-lifetime full fibre upgrade by applying for free UK Government broadband vouchers.

Through the UK Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and innovative broadband signal boosting technology, Openreach aims to include thousands more remote rural communities in the ultrafast technology network. If successful, these new communities will join the existing 800,000 homes and businesses across Wales with access to full fibre broadband.

To fund the expansion, Openreach encourages residents to apply for and pool together free Government Gigabit Vouchers. The vouchers, which cost residents nothing, enable Openreach to collaborate with local communities, building a customized, co-funded network. This approach allows the extension of the ultrafast, ultra-reliable network to outlying rural areas that might not be covered by private investment.

Martin Williams, Director of Partnerships for Openreach in Wales, expressed excitement about the opportunity for these communities to embrace the benefits of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband. He highlighted the challenges of reaching harder-to-reach locations and emphasized the importance of collective efforts.

Williams stated, “Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make their community one of the best-connected places in the UK.”

Openreach, investing £15 billion to build full fibre broadband to 25 million homes, recognizes the significance of government support in upgrading the entire country. Once the pledge target is reached, residents need to validate their vouchers with the Government, ensuring Openreach can commence building work.

As a funding condition, residents commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available. Already, communities like Kerry in Powys have successfully pledged the required number of vouchers, kickstarting the broadband expansion.

The collaborative effort between Openreach and the Welsh Government has already proven successful, benefiting 44,000 homes and businesses across Wales. Full fibre technology provides reliable, resilient, and future-proof connectivity, meeting growing data demands and ensuring connectivity for generations to come

Max Walker

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