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Powys County Council Signs Rural Broadband Rollout Deal with BT UPDATE

Tuesday, Jun 18th, 2024 (4:41 pm) - Score 1,000
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The Powys County Council (Cyngor Sir Powys) in mid-Wales has this afternoon announced that they’ve awarded a broadband roll-out contract to the BT Group (Openreach), which will connect 24 “hard to reach sites” to a new full fibre network and will also benefit at least 78 more that are on route to them (possibly rising to as many as 119).

The project, which is part of the council’s Digital Powys transformation programme and being funded by public funding from the Welsh Government’s (WG) Local Broadband Fund (LBF), has already entered the surveying and planning phase. Construction is due to start at most sites “soon” and the aim is to have the network “completed by the end of March 2025.”

The announcement doesn’t actually clarify what sort of “sitesOpenreach’s new fibre will be connecting. But contracts like this have, in the past, often tended to be more focused on linking up remote public sector sites via Dark Fibre style connections.

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The areas of Powys benefitting from the full-fibre internet build are:

Forest Coal Pit (NP7 7LY) – six hard to reach sites.
Builth Wells (LD2 3YR) – three hard to reach sites.
Guilsfield (SY21 9DB) – one hard to reach site.
Newbridge-on-Wye (LD1 6HB, LD1 6LN & LD1 6LS) – four hard to reach sites.
Llandrindod Wells (LD1 6SY & LD1 6SP) – two hard to reach sites.
Llanfyllin (SY22 5LZ) – one hard to reach site.
Erwood (LD2 3EQ, LD2 3EZ, LD2 3PQ & LD2 3EX) – seven hard to reach sites.

Ellen Sullivan, Powys County Council’s Head of Digital Services, said:

“We know access to fast and reliable broadband is important for our businesses and residents. And, while the number of sites that will benefit from this project is relatively low, they are all in areas that are never likely to get full-fibre internet without the help of grant funding.

Having better connectivity can really help level the playing field for some of our most rural communities.”

Susi Marston, BT Group’s Head of Local Government and Education in Wales, said:

“Access to high speed, reliable broadband is vital in the modern world and underpins so much of our daily lives. From helping to improve public services like healthcare, to helping businesses and residents access the latest technology, good connectivity is now so important for all communities. That goes whether you’re in a busy city centre, or in a rural location.

We’re pleased to be working with Powys Council to bring fast broadband to some of the most remote parts of the county.”

We have asked the local authority for a bit more detail on the project’s funding and the specific sites being targeted. We hope to update again soon.

UPDATE 5:02pm

According to the council, this will be a Full Fibre Infrastructure Build (FFIB), which is usually an infrastructure-only build solution with no active service provided as part of the deployment (you’d still have to order that from an ISP). Despite this, we’ve been informed that the sites being connected “are business and residential“, while the public funding is £690,000 through the LBF.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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