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Openreach Establish New Board to Boost Full Fibre in Wales

Friday, September 13th, 2019 (11:48 am) - Score 1,901

Network access provider Openreach (BT) has today established a new Cymru Wales Board, whose members include engineers and support staff from across the country. The board’s primary purpose will be to provide guidance and direction to the organisation, not least to help its rollout of FTTC and FTTP broadband ISP networks.

At present Openreach is already conducting a significant commercial deployment of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology across the United Kingdom, which is set to include many premises in Wales. Cardiff, Swansea and Barry have all been announced in the first tranche of “Fibre First” locations, while more are expected to be confirmed across Wales “shortly.”

On top of that Openreach holds the Welsh Government’s £22.5m Phase 2 Superfast Cymru successor contract, which aims to provide a further 26,000 rural premises with access to “fast reliable broadband” (mostly FTTP) by March 2021 (details). In keeping with that Openreach has also undergone a major recruitment drive that has seen nearly 450 new engineers join the organisation throughout Wales over the last 2 years.

Suffice to say that there are a lot of areas where the new board might come in handy, although we’re a little unclear about how much power and influence they’ll actually have. The Board recently convened in Cardiff at the Principality Stadium to hold its first ever meeting under the leadership of Kim Mears.

Kim Mears, OR MD for Infrastructure Development, said:

“There’s a great deal of work going on in Wales to extend fibre broadband even further across the country and to future proof the network for generations to come.

The decision to establish an Openreach Cymru Wales Board reflects the investments we’re making across the nation and the importance we place on getting this right for our customers in Wales.

We recently established a similar Board for Scotland and it’s working well for us. I’m both honoured and delighted to be chairing the Openreach Cymru Wales Board.”

One mildly amusing aspect of this announcement is that Cymru tends to reflect the Welsh name for Wales, which means that Openreach’s “Cymru Wales Board” could also be translated as the “Wales Wales Board“? So nice, they said it twice 🙂 .

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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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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Paul says:

    I live in colwyn bay north wales. There has been a lot of activity with new optical cables being laid and replaced locally. I quizzed an engineer nd he mentioned it was in preparation for FTTH.
    Fingers crossed
    Ps keep up the work with your updates!

  2. Avatar Dee.jay says:

    Great news. I hope my area will be announced soon. It ought to be, I’m not exactly out in the hills.

  3. Avatar Captain Cymru oh sorry Wales says:

    I work in Cardiff and although Cardiff has been announced a fibre first city and many properties have FTTP, there are still many parts of Cardiff that have direct buried cables and/or poor infrastructure and appear to have been left out.

    I think the Virgin boss said it well.
    This is all Fibre To The Press.

    Also interesting that BT opted to go for Barry before Newport. Anyone know why?

    1. Avatar Matthew says:

      That is always the way sadly the easy fruit is prioritised and then sometimes they go back for the harder stuff but not always.

  4. Avatar nofibrehere says:

    I would be really nice if the board could look at giving everyone in wales a fibre option as rural communities are still second class citizens with slow broadband. Where is the Welsh government in all this. Let me think, oh yes in cardiff sitting on their backsides deciding what expenses to claim.

    1. Avatar John says:

      I’m no special fan of this Welsh Government but if you dig around you will find that it has been supporting Full Fibre quite a bit in the last few years. I live in a rural community, a thousand feet above sea level, and had FTTP installed in 2017. There has been a steady rollout in other rural areas but with lots of gaps and some infrastructure left incomplete, often with very visible coils of fibre tubing hanging from poles. Frustrating if that’s you, but it’s not the complete picture.

  5. Avatar Cristian Osiac says:

    I live on a main road, yet I get speed below 1mbps.how is that possible?

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