The first cabinet bringing superfast fibre broadband to Wales as part of a government scheme was today switched on in Bangor.
The unveiling shows progress is being made with the Superfast Cymru project, which aims to connect 96% of Wales – roughly 1.3 million premises – with superfast broadband over the next two years.
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It is being jointly funded by the UK government’s BDUK scheme, the Welsh government and the European Regional Development Fund, alongside a private investment of £220m from BT, which will carry out the installation of the fibre across the country.
The cabinet on the High Street in Bangor will provide connections for hundreds of homes and businesses in the town, and engineers are building further cabinets to serve the surrounding area.
It is one of the initial eight locations the project is focused on, with Caernarfon, Dolgellau, Menai Bridge, Porthmadog, Pwllheli, Ebbw Vale and Tredegar completing the list.
“Today is an important milestone in delivering our commitment to ensure properties across Wales have access to next-generation broadband,” said Welsh government business minister Edwina Hart.
“High-speed broadband is essential to ensure residential properties to access the services and opportunities provided by digital technologies… [but it] is also vital to businesses across Wales, helping them to become more efficient and competitive. This investment demonstrates our commitment to supporting the Welsh economy and investing in the infrastructure it needs to flourish.”
Residents and business owners should be able to buy subscriptions to superfast broadband from the Spring when BT offers up the network on a wholesale basis to other ISPs.