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Q2 2020 Progress Update on Wales BT FTTP Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 (9:00 am) - Score 2,832
wales uk counties map

The Welsh Government has issued a progress update on their £52.5m Phase 2 Superfast Cymru contract with BT (Openreach), which is deploying a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network to cover a further 39,000 premises. The data to June 2020 shows that 9,895 have so far been completed.

The second contract actually consists of two stages, the original £22.5m deal (reflecting a target of 26,000 premises by March 2021) and a much more recent £30m extension (13,000 premises by June 2020). The reason why the extension is more expensive is because the cost of deployment rises disproportionately as you enter those increasingly remote and sparse communities.

NOTE: The contract is deploying FTTP to tackle some of those areas in the final 4-5% of Wales that still cannot access a “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) connection.

According to the latest update to the end of June 2020 from the WG’s Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters, Openreach has so far built their full fibre network to a total of 9,895 premises under the contract (of these 2,066 are in the Lot 1 area, 3,345 in Lot 2 and 4,484 in Lot 3 – see below for more detail).

All of these completed premises are subject to further assurance by WG and so far 8,322 have been checked through this ongoing process. “The continued successful deployment of the project must be seen against the background of the current pandemic. Openreach has worked hard to maintain the delivery of the project,” said Lee to all members of the Senedd.

Admittedly more than 60,000 are still expected to remain unserved once the current contract ends. Some of that will probably be tackled by their voucher scheme and community fund, but others may have to wait for the UK Government’s £5bn investment in gigabit-capable broadband to be set out in detail (expected soon).

Breakdown by local authority

Lot Local Authority Ready for Service
1 CONWY  503
1 GWYNEDD  774
2 CARDIFF  242
2 POWYS  416
2 WREXHAM  1,358
3 BRIDGEND  1,004
3 SWANSEA  152
3 TORFAEN  128

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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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14 Responses
  1. John Hollywood says:

    What about the Stranded Assets from Phase1? Openreach and Welsh Gov/Gwynedd Council/ have abandoned the Fibre Build on Pen Llyn, Nefyn Cab4. It Was showing as in progress/Being built/rolling out, now Openreach say Nefyn Cab4 was never upgraded to FTTP? Never part of the plan. Not on the new list. A 2020 Fact is, My ADSL has degraded from 1.75MB to 1MB over the past decade, I may not be able to make phone calls soon. Poor show Openreach, broken promises. Poor show welsh gov, all this EU money spent and Fibre coils strewn on the ground and coils of wasted Fibre on the poles. And green boxes on poles. This is on a flat A road between 2 market towns not on top of Snowdon.

    1. NE555 says:

      As I understand it, no grant money is paid until the deployment is complete and live.

    2. Meadmodj says:

      Openreach are probably just as frustrated if they have installed assets sitting idle. The WG set the subsidy criteria and project scope (premises/£) so I assume the outstanding connectivity work exceeds this. However you have to be in a good position medium term to get FTTP.

      In the meantime External 4G appears the answer.

    3. Robert McLachlan says:

      We have relatives on the Crosswell exchange, they’re in a remote property near a small village – likewise they have had new fibre built right to their door, new poles, trees trimmed, all hardware in place… except apparently Crosswell exchange has not been, and possibly even CANNOT(!) be upgraded with the necessary hardware so all that investment is sitting idle while they are still on sub-5mbit connections. Truly baffling.

    4. JohnH says:

      Sadly, in this part of Wales, Pen Llyn (lleyn Peninsula) the 4G data is poor. 4G gets over-subscribed once the tourists arrive, for around 8 months of the year. Mind you Openreach/WelshGov did connect the tourist caravan sites (Abersoch) first. Just left the local businesses in Boduan out 🙁

    5. AledL says:

      Have you tested EE 4G WiFi speeds in the area with an external antenna?

      Their website shows Nefyn with “great indoor and outdoor” reception for £35 pm.

      I recently upgraded my dad’s farm with ee 4G WiFi, went from 0.5mbs to 20-45mbs using an external antenna, 3 miles from the tower (good line of sight, all the way to the North Wales tower, I will admit). This was in the reaaaaally remote part of Wales.

    6. Clivellyn says:

      I also live on the Peninsula and again have had several broken promises regarding fibre. My download speed went from 3mb to less than 1mb and BT couldn’t give a damn.
      Answer was a grant from Welsh Government and a 4G system was installed. Chugging along quite happily at approximately 30mb on average.
      As someone else has said though it gets hammered when the tourists are here.

  2. Zakir Hussain says:

    It’s good to hear the news most of us who live in older buildings and in flats don’t get fibre to premises rather then we get copper to fibre I live in East London E3 progress of broadband is bad always focusing on outside London thinking London has good connectivity.

  3. Dave says:

    Here in Tylorstown, we have fibre already on the poles, but according to BT after I asked if I could have it, sadly it was “Project” that OR had started but not finished, so not sure when we’re expecting it here, hope it’s soon as the aluminium that is serving this part of Tylorstown is so flaky 45MBps is just terrible.
    We wait patiently to see what is going to happen….

    1. Fastman says:

      45MBps is just terrible.

      really try telling that to people who have significnantly less that even USO

      sure they love to swap place with you

    2. Ryan says:

      45 is near 100% more then I get and a lot more then a large amount of the UK.

      I’d argue your one of the lucky ones.

    3. Dave says:

      When I mean flaky, it syncs at 45 then drops to 22! Sorry I should’ve said that in my original post, boy till OR get kicked somewhere where the sun don’t shine and the Welsh Government finally get the money, maybe the reality of FTTP for Wales as a whole could happen quicker than England?

      I’m writing this as our FTTC has just dropped out for the 3rd time today and OR aren’t bothered and BT just don’t want to spend the cash to fix a possible faulty aluminium cable, which has been an issue since we moved here 12 months ago….

  4. Aled says:

    Dave, how remote are you? The fact it drops regularly by 50% might hint that it’s the line maximum, but you could be sharing the line and someone else has just logged on. Either that or there’s a lot of noise/emc. I remember we had a dodgy hair dryer that could mess up the router quite badly.

    1. David says:

      Sorry for the late reply!! Moved house in the last couple of weeks, and it’s only physically just 5 mins from where we lived, and now our line is active, it’s just 25mbps!!
      I’m in Tylorstown, which has fibre ready to the poles, but OR just isn’t doing a thing with it since installing it…. Yeah, I’ve had to put up with a lot since moving from Walsall, going from 80mbps to less than 50% of the speed, but it’s worth it just for the views etc, but I wait patiently for FTTP then I can do what I want to do around the home much better than it is at present… 25-30Mbps when 4 users are streaming dies quickly, and I agree with you on a dodgy hair dryer etc.
      I’ve since learnt from BT that there’s 1Km of Aluminium (Yup the rubbish) connecting us and OR are refusing to replace it, just wish it was copper, but sadly the only thing aluminium is good for is radiating and picking up more rubbish than ever!!

      Lets hope even with Covid-19, within the next few months that they actually switch the Fibre on the poles on? and yeah a person from BT Exec Team did say also that the box and lines are at max capacity, me personally I’m thinking it’s more something else??

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