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Wales Seeks Feedback on Future Broadband Plan and Publish State Aid Map

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 (11:16 am) - Score 771
wales uk counties map

The Welsh Government, as part of its work to identify areas of Wales which do not currently benefit from superfast broadband and won’t do so under the existing Superfast Cymru roll-out with BT, has launched a new online survey that seeks responses from suppliers, the Welsh public and businesses. The WG has also uploaded new state aid broadband coverage maps and postcode data.

Apparently the existing Superfast Cymru project, which aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 96% of Welsh premises by the end of spring 2016, has already identified those few areas of Wales which are not currently part of a commercial or state aid supported roll-out.

The Welsh Government are now consulting on the results of their latest Open Market Review (OMR) and at the same time they want to “hear the views of the public and businesses from across Wales on fast fibre broadband“. A similar survey was carried out in 2012 ahead of the launch of the Superfast Cymru programme.

The results from this survey (send your feedback) will be used to inform plans for a further extension of the existing Superfast Cymru project, which will be based off the additional allocation of £12.11 million from the UK Government’s Broadband Delivery UK fund (here).

Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, said:

Superfast Cymru is the most ambitious programme of its kind in the UK providing faster broadband to a greater proportion of premises more quickly. Without this programme large parts of Wales would be without access to fast fibre broadband.

Fast fibre broadband is important for businesses and households and we want to hear from people across Wales about their current experience and what speeds they are getting. I want to hear people’s views and I would urge people across Wales to take part.

Despite the scale of the Superfast Cymru programme a small proportion of premises would still not be covered by it or commercial roll-out as identified by the review we have carried out. We are now formally consulting on the review before announcing how we will tackle those areas and provide even more premises with access to world class broadband.

The Welsh Government is committed to seeking to ensure high speed coverage across Wales and despite the huge and ambitious scale of Superfast Cymru we are looking now at those few areas which would still not benefit from fast fibre coverage.”

It’s worth pointing out that the Wales Audit Office (WAO) are simultaneously investigating the related schemes effectiveness, financial planning, governance structures, contractual agreements with BT, procurement processes and risk management / monitoring arrangements (here). A final report on that is expected by the end of 2014.

Meanwhile the above survey is open until 3rd July 2014 and an extension plan is due to be confirmed shortly thereafter. In addition, the consultation also includes a number of useful documents and maps, which are arguably of much more interest than the survey itself.

Consultation document (File size: 816 KB)

State Aid maps (File size: 15 MB)

White postcodes list [EXCEL] (File size: 148 KB)

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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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5 Responses
  1. IA for Wales superfast now identified as 739k premises served by 3,000 cabinets with a public contribution of £205m – that is £68k subsidy a cabinet or £277 per premise past. BDUK framework for the first time looks like a bargain, as it is only 3 times the original subsidy.

  2. Avatar iiiiian

    OMG…..my postcode is not on the list…..fibre in < 3years for me 🙂

    Not sarcastic ……honest

  3. Avatar John

    £277 per premise! in Wales, thats way cheap. Cheaper than the altnets with their £999.99 per premise subsidy!

    • @John its per premise past where 20% take up is rule of thumb, so that’s £1,385 per premise connected.
      The equivalent in similar locations in Northern Ireland outside greater Belfast was £70 per premise past. As it crossed 90% coverage the subsidies rose but to nothing like your witnessing here.

  4. Avatar DTMark

    So, on reading that statement, and translating..

    “Some of you can’t be serviced with VDSL and we can’t afford to pay BT what it wants to provide fibre-optic services instead. That “some of you” is probably a fair bit more than might once have been envisaged now that we have got this far *after* agreeing the contract and telling you lot how good it’s going to be. Oops.”

    How does running a “survey” change the price BT wants to supply the properties?

    How about looking at the supply end instead of the demand one?

    What to do about the seemingly insoluble problem when premises aren’t right next to a phone cabinet that was put in back in 1937.. 😉

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