Openreach has announced the latest set of Welsh communities that could soon become ultrafast with the support of UK Government broadband vouchers.
Openreach is urging people living and working in Dale, Pembrokeshire to get behind a bid to bring ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to local homes and businesses.
The company is warning that these communities risk missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime full fibre upgrade, if they don’t apply for free UK Government broadband vouchers, which can be used to secure faster speeds and greater reliability.
If enough people sign up, the latest communities will join more than 770,000 homes and businesses across Wales who already have access to full fibre broadband.
Funding through the UK Governments Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and the deployment of new broadband signal boosting technology* – which can extend the reach of the full fibre network, means thousands more remote rural communities are now within reach of the ultrafast technology.
Openreach has identified the latest Welsh villages and towns as being within scope for Full Fibre and is urging local people to take the next step by applying for and pooling together free Government Gigabit Vouchers to help fund the build.
Residents can check if they qualify and pledge their voucher on the Connect My Community website. Using the vouchers, which don’t cost residents anything, enables Openreach to work with a local community to build a customised, co-funded network. The vouchers can be combined to extend the ultrafast, ultra-reliable network to premises in outlying rural areas which won’t be covered by private investment.
Once the pledge target for the scheme is reached, residents need to ensure they then validate their vouchers with the Government so that Openreach can confirm that building work can get underway. As part of the funding conditions residents are asked to commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available, and confirm that they are connected.
Full fibre technology provides more reliable, resilient and future-proof connectivity; meaning fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands. It's also future-proof, which means it will serve generations to come and won’t need to be upgraded for decades.
Fibre optics - strands of glass around one-tenth the thickness of a human hair - transmit data using light signals. Fibre is smaller, lighter and more durable than copper cabling and less vulnerable to damage.
Martin Williams, Director of Partnerships for Openreach in Wales, said:
“This is a really exciting opportunity for the people of these nine locations to bring all the benefits of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to their community.
“Our Fibre Community Partnership programme has meant that we’ve been able to potentially bring hundreds more communities across the UK, into our Full Fibre build plans. But building out the network to these harder to reach locations is still challenging – which is why its only possible with everyone working together – you, your neighbours and Openreach.
“Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make their community one of the best-connected places in the UK.”
“We’re investing £15 billion to build full fibre broadband to 25 million homes – and more than six million of those will be in the toughest third of the UK – but we can’t upgrade the whole country alone. This latest support from government is a vital part of that process.”