Shell Island in Gwynedd Welcomes Ultrafast Broadband, Thanks to Openreach Engineers

Gwynedd, Wales – Shell Island, a picturesque location near Llanbedr in Gwynedd, is about to receive a substantial upgrade in its internet connectivity. Thanks to the efforts of local Openreach engineers, this scenic spot will soon have access to some of the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds available.

A Challenging Endeavour for Ultrafast Connectivity

To bring ultrafast broadband to Shell Island, Openreach engineers have taken on a challenging task. They’ve laid brand new fibre cables stretching nearly four kilometres from the nearest exchange in Llanbedr. What makes this project particularly unique is the need to cross a tidal area between Shell Island and the mainland.

This endeavor demanded precision and innovation. Engineers had to work during low tide times and employ specialized drilling equipment to ensure safety and efficiency. Suzanne Rutherford, Chief Engineer for Wales at Openreach, emphasized the importance of collaborating with Natural Resources Wales to ensure the protection of the area’s natural beauty.

Rutherford explained, “Shell Island is a site of special scientific interest so, as you would expect, we’ve been working very closely with Natural Resources Wales in the planning for this work.”

Tidal Challenges Overcome

Building infrastructure across a tidal plain posed specific engineering and safety challenges. Openreach engineers and partners had to schedule their work according to tidal movements. They used a trench digger, commonly known as a ‘ditch witch,’ to drill horizontally across the tidal area. In total, engineers had to drill 400 meters across the tidal area to complete the work.

This ‘ditch witch’ is a vital tool in Openreach’s toolkit, enabling them to dig trenches swiftly and effectively. It has proven invaluable as Openreach continues its mission to expand its Ultrafast Full Fibre network across the UK.

Investing in Digital Connectivity

The Welsh Government has shown its commitment to improving digital connectivity across Wales. Vaughan Gething, Welsh Government Economy Minister, expressed his delight in the investment in fibre broadband for Shell Island. He highlighted the increasing importance of superfast and ultrafast broadband for businesses in Wales and the government’s efforts to provide the necessary infrastructure.

Gething stated, “Good quality digital connectivity underpins everything we do digitally and is the foundation to achieving our ambitious digital strategy for Wales.”

Jonny Rae

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