The Welsh Assembly has named another 66 communities in its superfast broadband rollout – bringing in an extra 500,000 homes and businesses.
The areas being upgraded to speeds from 2Mbps to 80Mbps will include conurbations in Monmouthshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Conwy, and more areas will be revealed in the future.
BT Openreach is working with the Welsh Government to implement the fibre-based networks by 2016, primarily using FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) technology, upgrading 35 exchanges in the new locations.
Welsh deputy minister for skills and technology, Ken Skates, said: “By the time Superfast Cymru is completed in 2016 Wales will be one of the most connected countries in the world. It is a huge undertaking with 3,000 green roadside cabinets to be installed and around 17,500kms of optical fibre cable to be laid.
“The sheer scale of the programme means not everyone can receive it at the same time but today’s announcement shows how we are moving ahead toward our goal of providing 96 per cent of premises in Wales with access to superfast broadband.”
The staggered rollout will see around 5,000 homes gaining superfast broadband a week, with half a million properties gaining the services by summer 2015, representing a third of all homes and businesses in Wales.
A number of ISPs provide superfast broadband services in Wales and to benefit from the new fibre network, customers will need to sign up to one of the plans they offer.
In June, it was announced that six more exchanges in Wales would be upgraded to superfast fibre optic broadband in the drive to get 96 per cent of Wales connected by Spring 2016.
The 100,000 homes and businesses already using fibre broadband in Wales are reporting speeds of up to 61Mbps – up to three times the national average.
While areas within 1km of the new streetside fibre cabinets can expect speeds of more than 30Mbps, those further away will receive a minimum of 2Mbps.