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North Wales Hails Progress of £8m Full Fibre Rollout Contract

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020 (12:01 am) - Score 624
fibre optic red and blue broadband cables 2018

The North Wales Economic Ambition Board (NWEAB) has said that they’re making “major progress” on the £8m project to deploy a new gigabit speed Dark Fibre network in North Wales, which aims to connect 350 public sector sites across Denbighshire, Anglesey, Conwy, Gwynedd, Flintshire and Wrexham.

The upgrades to end sites are being undertaken by BT though the Wales-wide Public Sector Broadband Aggregation (PSBA) contract – this already provides connectivity to nearly 5,000 public sites in Wales. Meanwhile the public funding for all this has come from the UK Government’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme (Wave 3 funding round).

Cadwgan Surgery in Old Colwyn is one example of a site to have benefited from the LFFN. Meanwhile other site examples include the Caia Park Estate Office in Wrexham, the Mental Health Support Service Team at Flint Castle Park, and the Muriau building in Conwy, home of a Tourist Information Centre and gift shop and a landmark in the World Heritage Site since the 1880s.

The scheme should help to complement the £1bn North Wales Growth Deal, which also included a commitment to improve digital connectivity.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said:

“I’m pleased to see this development in North Wales and that the public sector is already benefiting from the improvements made.

The PSBA contract offered an instant solution to the North Wales Economic Ambition Board by providing an existing network for the whole of the public sector in Wales to use.

The infrastructure being installed in this project also allows some homes and businesses near a public sector building to benefit from full fibre broadband. Now more than ever we appreciate the importance of a fast, reliable broadband connection and it’s good to see this work underway in North Wales.”

Crucially what this announcement doesn’t tell us is precisely how much progress has actually been made or how many public sector sites have now been connected. Under the original proposal this was all due to be completed by the end of 2020, but by the sounds of it the work is still on-going.

The anchor tendency approach being taken above means that, in theory, nearby businesses and homes could eventually benefit as the new network can be expanded to support future Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) services from broadband ISPs. But that would require private investment and is thus more of a consideration for the future, should any interest arise.

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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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1 Response
  1. WonkoTheSaneUK says:

    I don’t know about expanding this network for public FTTP, but Openreach are currently in Flint working on the FTTP rollout they announced last January.

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