Matthew Horwood

Ogi sees capital full-fibre opportunity with Cardiff gigabit offer

In what could represent a multimillion-pound bandwidth boost to Cardiff’s business offering, Welsh altnet reveals plans to bring bespoke full-fibre gigabit network to the city

In a project that it claims will effectively future-proof the Welsh capital, supporting the city’s ambition for wider economic growth, Welsh broadband provider Ogi has announced Cardiff as the latest area to benefit from a bespoke multimillion-pound digital infrastructure programme.

In recent years, Ogi has gained momentum by investing millions of pounds in towns and villages across south Wales – often before the major providers. The latest privately funded investment sees the Welsh provider make its first move into a major city centre area.

The operator, which already provides connectivity and IT services to the likes of Tramshed Tech, PureCyber, and the city’s Victorian arcades and sporting venues, said this latest move would bring Nokia’s 25G PON full-fibre technology to more businesses much sooner than intended by other major infrastructure providers.

Putting the deployment into perspective, Ogi argued that for decades, companies in the city have had to rely on renting dedicated connections, often costing tens of thousands of pounds a year to run, and with long contract terms. It sees its roll-out opening up much more affordable options for businesses, using the most advanced full-fibre technology currently available on the market.

Citing the Fair internet report, conducted in March 2023, Ogi said the average broadband speed in Cardiff was 99Mbps, just below the UK average of 106Mbps and almost 30Mbps below the average of 127Mpbs across the River Severn in Bristol.

With work beginning this month, Ogi’s bespoke network is designed to offer dedicated full-fibre capability, bringing ultrafast and reliable connectivity to businesses across the city without the need for expensive leased lines. It is set to offer speeds more than 10 times faster as standard, with full-fibre lines capable of between 2Gbps and 10Gbps symmetrical speeds available for the very first time over the dedicated bespoke network.

“As we look to work in more flexible and hybrid ways, reliable connectivity is vital, and this digital upgrade across the city will lay new foundations for Wales to thrive today, and long into the future”
Ben Allwright, Ogo

“The big data age has arrived in Cardiff, and fast, dependable connectivity has never been more important. As we look to work in more flexible and hybrid ways, reliable connectivity is vital, and this digital upgrade across the city will lay new foundations for Wales to thrive today, and long into the future,” said Ogi chief executive officer Ben Allwright, announcing the launch plans.

“This development will enhance our existing, market-leading managed IT service offering with local support based just around the corner – bringing a business’s entire needs together for the very first time,” he added.

Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas, who opened Ogi’s headquarters in the centre of Cardiff in June 2022, said he was delighted to hear the company was set to start work on its capital city broadband roll-out.

“A recent report by the Centre for Cities identified Cardiff as the leading UK Core City in terms of its digital infrastructure, so the investment by Ogi should build on this infrastructure, which is critical to achieving social and economic prosperity for all our communities, and help us grow investment from high-growth businesses already here and those looking to set up in the city,” said Thomas.

The roll-out is expected to be completed by early 2024, with the first services available much sooner as the network is switched on in stages. This is part of Ogi’s initial phase to bring full-fibre connectivity to 150,000 premises across south Wales.

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