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Rural Wales FTTH Project is 2018 Finalist for an EU Broadband Award

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 (1:24 am) - Score 193
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The community built and 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network for Michaelston-y-Fedw in Wales (here) has been named as the only UK finalist in this year’s forthcoming 2018 European Broadband Awards event.

We first reported on the “Myfi” scheme earlier this year and the build phase has recently completed. Since then the effort, which mirrors B4RN’s community approach in England, has gained widespread recognition (including among senior politicians) and a number of similar roll-outs now look set to follow elsewhere in Wales.

Even the European Commission (EC) appears to have taken notice because the project has been named as a finalist under the “Innovative models of financing, business and investment” category in their annual European Broadband Awards event.

Brin Richards, Myfi, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“Myfi have completed this years programme, on time and on budget! We have made 175 connections with only a few delayed for various reasons. This would not have been possible without the 1000s of hours of work done by the volunteers we have. Thanks [also] to the farmers (free wayleaves) and the Welsh Government for their help and support.

Equally important has been the wonderful community spirit generated by this project. The person who deserves vast praise and recognition is David Schofield, who has carried this project from start to finish, inspiring [and] leading us like the Pied Piper of Michaelston. Without him this stupid but inspiring idea would never have happened.”

According to the related information page, the Myfi project had a budget of roughly €300,000 (c.£262K at today’s rate) and this works out to a cost of around £1.5K per premises passed, which is similar to a number of other remote rural FTTP deployments that we’ve seen (we’ve also seen a few that go well above and also below that figure).

The initial capital of €170,000 was invested by local residents under an SEIS Scheme and further funding then came from the Welsh Government’s subsidy schemes (i.e. Access Broadband Cymru and Ultrafast Connectivity Vouchers). Happily they’ve also done a new video to help showcase the effort (below).

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced on 19th Nov and we wish Myfi the best of luck.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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