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234,000 Premises in Wales to Benefit from £5bn Project Gigabit

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 1,896
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The UK Government will today reveal that “up to” 234,000 hard-to-reach rural homes and businesses in Wales have been identified as “in scope” to potentially receive a gigabit-capable broadband upgrade, which should come as part of the new £5bn Project Gigabit programme.

At present around 40% of homes and businesses across the UK can already access a Gigabit speed capable broadband ISP network, which is likely to reach over half of premises by the end of 2021 (c.60%) and it’s hoped that commercial deployments could push this up to around 80% by the end of 2025 (70-80% might be a better expression).

In Wales the current coverage for gigabit-capable broadband is much lower at just 28%, although this figure will continue to grow thanks to major ongoing network expansions of Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology by Openreach (here), Ogi (here) and Virgin Media etc.

In order to support such efforts, the Government recently launched Project Gigabit, which is focused upon expanding gigabit-capable connectivity across the final 20% of predominantly rural premises. The project aims to ensure that such speeds reach at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025. The project also aims to get “as close to 100% as possible,” albeit depending upon how the industry responds (i.e. so far only £1.2bn has been released for this, but more will be unlocked if the industry shows they can deliver what is needed).

As part of that project the Government’s Building Digital UK team will today identify that 234,000 premises in Wales will be in-scope of the programme (i.e. they won’t benefit from the commercial build and thus require public subsidy to go further). This includes rural towns and villages in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, the Isle of Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Powys.

NOTE: The figure of 234,000 premises stems from BDUK modelling based on all available data – this will be updated again soon, following another market review.

At the time of writing that’s all the Government could really tell us, and they will set out the timetable for the delivery of these connections once they’ve agreed the procurement process with the Welsh Government, which remains the subject of ongoing talks. As such we still don’t know precisely how the programme will be handled in Wales – in England it’s a centralised approach managed by BDUK. We’ll update again later if more information is release today (we get the impression that it will be).

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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.
Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. CeredigionMan says:

    This is great to hear, just need the detail now.

  2. WonkoTheSaneUK says:

    Good job it’s “UK Government” pushing this.

    If it was the Senedd, any projects South of Brecon would be completed first, then they’d call a halt “for review” before anything could be started further North.

    1. Gary says:

      Old rivalries die hard. They won’t recognise the republic of Goggistan.

  3. Rob Prosser says:

    Will this prioritise the 89000 listed ‘white’ premises below USO in Wales? or are they just going to be pushed further back while the easier areas get upgraded again?

  4. You're avin a larf says:

    5,000,000,000 pounds divide by 234,000 homes = £21,367.52p PER SUBSCRIBER

    Openreach are pulling figures out their backsides again. This isn’t value for money.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Project Gigabit is a UK wide programme, the funding thus needs to be divided between all the regions and so far they’ve only released £1.2bn from that pot.

  5. Christopher says:

    Can you stop refering to the UK Government as the “Government”? It gets particularly messy when mentioning issues/stories that involve Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.
    I think that as an editorial rule across the site, this would be helpful.

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