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Wales UK to Spend GBP400 Million on Superfast Broadband Deployment

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 (9:37 am) - Score 678
wales uk map

The Welsh Government (WG) recently published its final Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP), which revealed that the region intends to invest a total of up to £400 million into the roll-out of 30Mbps+ superfast broadband services to reach 100% of the country’s businesses by the middle of 2016 and homes by 2020.

The longer term plan itself remains roughly in-line with UK government policy, which aims to make superfast broadband (25Mbps+) ISP services available to 90% of “people in each local authority area” by 2015; the last 10% will be left with a minimum speed of at least 2Mbps. But unlike the UK, Wales has also mirrored the EU’s near identical plan for the 2015-2020 period.

WIIP – Next Generation Broadband for Wales

Businesses in the sectors and the economy as a whole will benefit from the availability of competitive, flexible digital infrastructure. We are seeking to ensure that all residential premises and all businesses in Wales will have access to high speed broadband by 2015, with the ambition that at least half have access to ultra fast broadband services. The total value of the Next Generation Broadband investment is anticipated to be up to £400m, combining funding of around £57m from UK Government and £70m from European sources with Welsh Government funding in order to leverage significant investment from the private sector.

This investment in communications infrastructure will stimulate a thriving and competitive digital economy. It will support growth through wide-scale application, innovation, commercialisation and exploitation of digital technologies by Welsh businesses, and particularly the ICT and Creative Industries sectors.

Earlier this year we reported that Fujitsu UK had “voluntarily withdrawn” from the Next Generation Broadband Wales tender process because it believed the “risk levels” were simply “too high“, which left BT has the only major bidder (here). ISPreview.co.uk understands that a contract between the Welsh Government and BT is now certain to be signed this summer 2012.

At present just over 30% of Wales, which is mostly rural land, can access a superfast broadband service and around 19% of people receive broadband download speeds of less than 2Mbps (Megabits per second).

The Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP)
http://wales.gov.uk/funding/wiip2012/?lang=en

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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4 Responses
  1. Jon Roberts

    be interesting to see how this money is spent, the technologies used with 70% still to receive super fast fttc… 21cn will be available to over 70% from spring next year through bt. hopefully they focus on the market 1 exchanges that won’t see 21cn anytime soon

  2. Telecom Engineer

    £400Mill? Now thats what we’re talking about! I suspect we may see a good amount FTTP up north / west – I hear tales of villages still being fed by access concentrators – in such cases it would almost certainly be cheaper to sling a light fibre dropwire between poles than have to repole etc to mount heavy aerial copper just to give people FTTC.
    With FTTP on demand perhaps we could even see some sort of grant system such as has existed previously – i.e. you are in a FTTC area but one of the few too far to receive improved speeds – part or full funding of the On Demand product would be an economical way of targeting service.
    Lots of little “shed” exchanges in Wales too with majority of customers fed direct E/O. So I suspect either FTTP for such areas or BT developing E/O FTTC cabs to joint into the existing cable runs…

  3. I’d like to see how they got to the figure of £400m because even with match funding that seems around £100m too big.

  4. Jon Roberts

    rest will be from welsh government budget, the value of the infrastructure investment plan is 15 Billion

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