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Welsh Government Celebrates BT FTTP Broadband in Dinas Mawddwy

Friday, November 28th, 2014 (12:01 am) - Score 1,345

The Welsh Government’s Superfast Cymru project has today been highlighted after BTOpenreach’s engineers deployed more than 16km of overhead and 20km of underground fibre optic cable in order to roll-out their 330Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) connectivity into the remote rural community of Dinas Mawddwy in Gwynedd.

According to the press release, the 16km of overhead fibre represents a distance that has not been achieved before anywhere in the United Kingdom and as a result “Dinas Mawddwy residents will now have access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK“.

On the other hand, we shouldn’t forget all those independent ISPs that are rolling out 1000Mbps FTTP/H/B connections to rural and some urban areas and often without public funding, which probably have more claim to the “fastest” consumer speeds crown.

Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, said:

This is excellent news for the residents and businesses of Dinas Mawddwy and shows the lengths the Superfast Cymru programme is going so people can enjoy the benefits of fast fibre broadband.

The sheer distance of the overhead fibre to reach the village is an achievement which hasn’t been realised before throughout the UK and shows our commitment to connect rural communities in Wales.

Bringing superfast speeds to Dinas Mawddwy is a symbol of how ambitious the Superfast Cymru programme is and by Spring 2016 we aim to reach 96% of properties meaning people will have access to faster internet speeds quicker than the rest of the UK.

We are committed to seeing Wales become a truly digital nation and the Superfast Cymru scheme is vital in making that vision a reality.”

Mind you we’ve seen quite a lot of FTTP being deployed out to rural areas by BTOpenreach over the past 6 months, including a fair few locations in Wales (here). The press release reiterates this by stating that some of the other locations in Wales to have benefited from FTTP technology include Llanengan, Mold, Connahs Quay, Morriston and Gorseinon.

Unfortunately FTTP deployments are still in the minority, with BT’s dominant and slower hybrid-fibre ‘up to’ 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) service continuing to do most of the leg work.

Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. Avatar Martyn Dews says:

    So let me get this right. This article is about BT and the Welsh government rejoicing because 36km of fibre optic has been deployed to connect a rural community.

    As the article suggests, it’s not that special, others are quietly getting on with doing that and more.

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      It’s all part of the normal PR of any major public project. Of course it’s not exactly digging the Channel Tunnel (although 36km through that territory is not the same as 36km in most English counties). The engineering and logistical issues are well known. However, it’s all about showing money and political commitment, not the engineering achievement.

      There has been similar stuff about bring high speed broadband to the Hebrides and the Scilly Isles recently. Both of which were rather more difficult than this.

    2. Avatar GNewton says:

      @Martyn Dews: To put it into a proper perspective, and to see how far the UK really has fallen behind, let’s take a poorer country as an example: In Spain, Telefonica’s FTTH coverage already reaches nearly 10 million Spanish households but the company plans to expand the coverage to 80 percent of households by 2017. At the moment, 100 000 fibre lines are added per month in Spain. And they are actually REPLACING DSL with fibre. Makes you wonder why companies in the UK, such as BT, or the various BDUK projects, are so incompetent!

      So yeah, it’s a little publicity exercise for the Welsh government, but certainly not a special accomplishment.

    3. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      @GNewton

      Rather blowing the notion that what matters with the economic significance of broadband is the speed and not the cost effectiveness if Spain is being used as an example of how economies are stimulated.

    4. Avatar TheManStan says:

      And the majority of people in Spain live apartment blocks.
      Passing 20-40 households for the equivalent cost of 4-5 here in the UK.

    5. Avatar GNewton says:

      Talking about cost effectiveness: Again, in Spain Jazztel recently revealed that it had extended its FTTH network to 2.7 million households and was on target to connect 5 million premises by the end of 2015 in a EUR 300 million investment. Makes BT and its BDUK handholders look like loosers here, with all their lame excuses!

    6. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      60 Euros per premises huh?

  2. Avatar Payer says:

    Take a drive to Dina’s Maaddwy and get a feel for the geography of the land!

  3. Avatar nga for all says:

    What is good is that it is happening, and the budgets are ample to a great more.

  4. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

    Blimey. The divide between most urban areas and rural ones continues to exacerbate.

    Must move out to the sticks when we next move house. Will get better broadband than being in the UK’s 3rd most populous city.

    Are we sure that the 16km UK record overhead fibre run doesn’t have caveats? The network Vodafone acquired with Cable and Wireless who in turn acquired it from Energis has fibre running alongside the earth wire on national grid pylons. I’d be surprised if there aren’t >16km runs on that network.

    1. Avatar Steve Jones says:

      It sounded like nonsense to me. I suspect 16K is the longest under BDUK. Also, I’m not sure it’s any great technological achievement to drape fibre over that many poles. After all, it’s been done with phone & power cables for many decades.

    2. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Look at the United States where in so many areas the utilities are pole mounted. It seems fair to assume that Verizon during their FiOS deployment would’ve deployed very long runs way exceeding 16km. This ignoring the cable companies and their trunk fibre runs on the way to fibre nodes converting signals to RF for delivery to homes.

  5. Avatar Patrick Cosgrove says:

    Where I live we need 3 Km to reach a community that would provide 50% take-up rate. But BT variously says, it’s too difficult technically, it’s too expensive, the poles aren’t strong enough. One loses the will to live with this load of charlatans.

  6. Avatar terri says:

    fttc is aload of tosh… speeds are abysmal

  7. Avatar John says:

    It would be good to see how this compares with another similar rural village and surrounding area – does it compare with an English village at all, are the Welsh in the lead when it comes to fibre to the home in rural areas? seems they are.

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