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Welsh broadband going faster
Monday 30 September 2013 14:54:33 by Andrew Ferguson

If the various BDUK projects have been given an impolite nudge by the DCMS in response to the scathing criticism from the Public Accounts Committee it is unlikely that the rush of announcements in the last few days are the result of that nudge, particularly given the time taken to get any type of press release approved in local Government.

The good news is that some 151 towns and villages across Wales are now set to benefit from the joint project between BT and the Welsh Government (with ERDF and Westminster funding too) with their roll-out expected to complete by the end of March 2015. These 151 areas represent some 206,000 homes and businesses, and combined with the previous announcements mean some 480,000 premises will have the option to access a fibre based broadband service by the end of Spring 2015.

This is only the start of the roll-out still, as while the amounts look large this takes Wales to around 75% availability of fibre broadband, and those getting superfast speeds will be a subset of that. When we look at data from our speed test across the whole of Wales it has the highest proportion of results at 2 Mbps or slower and the lowest proportion of tests that qualify as superfast, so clearly lots of work to be done.

Caerphilly: Cross Keys, Machen, Nelson, Rhymney, Risca, Senghenydd, Ynysddu

Cardiff: Radyr

Carmarthenshire: Amman Valley, Carmarthen, Hebron, Llanbydder, Maesycrugiau, Pencader, Pumpsaint, Upper Cwmtwrch, Velindre

Conwy: Cerrigydrudion, Llanfairfechan

Ceredigion: Aberaeron, Aeron, Aberporth, Borth, Bow Street, Bronant, Capel Bangor, Cardigan, Crosswood, Cwrtnewydd, Lampeter, Llanarth, Llandyssul, Llangybi, Llanilar, Llanon, Llechryd, Nebo, Newcastle Emlyn, New Quay, Ponterwyd, Ponthrydygroes, Pontrhydfendigaid, Pontshaen, Talybont, Tregaron

Denbighshire: Bodfari, Bryneglwys, Cyffylliog, Denbigh, Dyserth, Glyndwr, Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Llandegla, Llandrillo, Llandyrnog, Llangollen, Llanynys, Maerdy, Rhuddlan, Ruthin, St Asaph, Trefnant

Flintshire: Caerwys, Halkyn, Kinnerton, Llanferres, Gwynedd: Bontddu, Ganllwyd, Tudweiliog

Neath Port Talbot: Crynant, Cymmer, Glantawe, Glynneath, Pontardawe, Resolven, Seven Sisters, Skewen

Monmouthshire: Gilwern, , Magor, Nantyderry, Tredunnock Usk

Pembrokeshire: Boncath, Crosswell, Crymych, Dinas Cross, Llwyndrain, Moylegrove, Newport

Powys: Abercrave, Abermule, Berriew, Brecon, Builth Wells, Bwlch, Caersws, Carno, Castle Caereinion, Church Stoke, Crickhowell, Erwood, Forden, Guilsfield, Hay-on-Wye, Hundred House, Gladestry, Kerry, Kington, Knighton, Llanbrynmair, Llanfair Caereinion, Llandrindod Wells, Llangamarch Wells, Llangurig, Llanfrynach, Llanfyllin, Llangorse, Llanidloes, Llanymynech, Newtown, Llanrhaeadr, Llansantffraid, Llanwrtyd Wells, Merthyr Cynog, Montgomery, Newbridge-on-Wye, Penybont, New Radnor, Pennant, Presteigne, Rhayader, Sennybridge, Talgarth, Talybont-on-Usk, Trefeglwys, Tregynon, Trewern, Welshpool

Swansea: Llangennith

Torfaen: Blaenavon, Talywain

Wrexham: Bangor-on-Dee, Chirk, Dutton Diffeth, Glyn Ceiriog, Hanmer, Overton-on-Dee, Redbrook Maelor, Rossett, Rhosllanerchrugog, Ruabon

Areas expected to have fibre broadband in Wales by the end of March 2015

With a target of 96% of Wales with access to a fibre based broadband service in 2016, there are obviously a lot more target areas to be announced, so well done if you are on todays list, but for the others more patience is needed.


Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
The link "151 towns and villages across Wales" is broken.
Looks like every exchange in Powys is listed. It must have the worst availability of any county at present as it appears to have Zero% availability st present. They have been already enabled a large cluster of exchanges around Bangor and Porthmadog that should be starting to show up on your speedtests.

Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
SO does this mean that in places of Newport like mine where our cab is not upgraded it could be? We are on that list.

Our exchange is live and orders are going in.

I sure hope FTTC is coming to my tiny cab! ;)
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
pcoventry:- That is Newport Pembrokeshire which is not live yet, I thought you were in Newport Gwent.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
Can't believe my exchange - Tenby (Pembrokeshire) is STILL not listed. We have more lines that half of those announced today put together! I know it's not a planning issue as a friend of mine works for the County Council planning Dept. and he says nothing has been applied for in Tenby!
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
Just checked and we have more lines than all of the Pembrokeshire exchanges announced today put together!

Anyone know what the hold up could be?
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
They appear to be planning in patches ( sensible looking at the geography)and all between Pembroke and Carmarthen are still being surveyed according to the map. All Cardigan Bay seem to be done first then around the (Milford) Haven. Vast areas to cover just to survey let alone deliver.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
Around Milford haven is understandable as it's been declared an Enterprise Zone which they said would get done first. What I can't understand is why places such as Dinas Cross, Llwyndrain and Moylegrove have been announced when they barely have 500 lines each.
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
Looks like they are all being done at the same time as Newport (Dyfed) so expect they are just a couple of extra cabs to make the numbers a sensible size, at that size there may only be two cabs in each exchange ( one EO) to hit the majority of the area.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
I suppose if you think of it that way - it does make sense! Damn annoying though. They've released exchange rollout dates up until March 2015 according to the map - I still hope they'll announce mine to be sooner ;)
Posted by JammaN over 4 years ago
woohoo my exchange "Llanybydder" has been announced finally! 9 years on 2MB and now something to look forward to! I am 450m from my cab any idea what speed I am likely to recieve?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago

Scroll down page and a distance/speed table, suggestion is 40 Mbps.
Posted by pcoventry76 over 4 years ago
@jumpmum ah i see - thanks for that -:)
Posted by ian007jen over 4 years ago
I say start at the smallest exchanges (SWRSO) <100 EO lines.
Posted by majika2007 over 4 years ago
Its strange to see that Llanelli (Carmarthenshire) exchange as not being enabled or included on this list. I have been connecting to a FTTC based service since about May 2013 Im on the 80/20 package with actual speeds of 69/19Mbps..
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
> Conwy: Cerrigydrudion, Llanfairfechan that all? Not Llandudno? Not Colwyn Bay? A quick check of the official site and it says 'under evaluation'. WTF is all that about?

I have never understood BT's plans for North Wales and I never will :-/
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
(cont'd) and..why the two they are doing? One is a village in the back of beyond and the other is near ghost town most people drive past at 70mph.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
@ majika2007

It's not included in the latest list because according to the Superfast Wales Map, it's already enabled.
Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
@ AndrueC if you look at the where and when map you can see that the project is expanding along the north coast of Wales towards Colwyn Bay.

Will just take time to enable the exchanges as they move along.
Posted by Koppo over 4 years ago
Another bullshit announcement from Superfarce Cymru, with Conwy pretty much left out of the next stage, just like it was with BDUK and just like it's always been under the BT aegis.

Seriously? Llanfair? A place with about 1500 residents, most of them retired pensioners? Nice prioritisation, I predict a 1% takeup - if they're lucky.

Bah. Rubbish.
Posted by gc01 over 4 years ago
That's all fine for the towns in that list, where there are pavements to put FTTC cabinets. I'm 6 Km outside the town. No places on the side of the road here unless they put it in a farmer's field or somebody's front garden. Until they start deploying very small units to fit on telegraph poles it's never going to reach the rural parts of Wales.
Posted by majika2007 over 4 years ago
@ welshwarrior,
Well that put me straight :p lol.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
@ majika2007

lol - you're one of the lucky ones. They'll probably have run out of money by the time they realise they've left Tenby out ;)
Posted by warweezil over 4 years ago
A couple of months ago Pembroke and Milford were showing April '14 dates, that has already slipped... I think it is more likely to be sometime '15 before it happens, but of course Haverfordwest gets it early so that is ok

Where/when are we likely to see a lisy of cabinets to be enabled? I'm waiting to find out that my area has been left out, which added to my flaky often dropping but perfectly serviceable (according to openjoke) will complete the sick joke for me.

Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
@ Warweezil

Long time no speak fella :) If you email and include your phone number, they will respond and tell you whether your cabinet is being upgraded. They have just replied to my email from yesterday and told me Tenby WILL be done and that my cabinet will also be enabled but that they can't tell me when. Just be happy you have a date at all mate.
Posted by csimon over 4 years ago
I haven't been that lucky with the address nor the Twitter accout, they just keep saying that they can't give specific cabinet information out and you just ahve to keep checking every day using an availability checker until 2016...
Posted by csimon over 4 years ago
Twwet from them from 5 hours ago: "Really sorry but we can't give cab specific information, only exchange level information"
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
Try emailing them as I suggested - not using twitter. They definitely told me I am on cab 3 (which is correct) and that in the plans so far for Tenby, cab 3 will be fibre enabled.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
@ csimon

SOrry just re-read your 1st msg and saw that you had tried emailing them. I must have gotten lucky with the person that answered me then.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
@Koppo: It's mad - I'm glad I moved away from there a long time ago. I keep my eye on it though because my Dad lives in Llandudno. I just don't see why it lags behind. It surely can't be difficult to provision towns that are linked by a dual carriageway. I wouldn't mind betting the A55 was built with ducting alongside it.

I wonder who will get it in the next round? Pen, presumably (another fairly empty town everyone ignores these days). Then..'Duggie what's his face'?
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
(cont'd) only thing I can figure is that Llandudno and C'Bay are big enough business centres to be valuable for leased line sales. But I'd have thought they were viable in their own right. They are seaside resorts but neither of them the kind of dump that shuts down out of season.

They are 'proper' towns and I'd have thought had the population needed to pay for decent telecoms.
Posted by jumpmum over 4 years ago
Andrue, Your turn will come, rumour says that the Assembly set the priorities for each area,so blame them. BT enable areas so you will see that whole areas get it at the same time, look at the Welsh SFBB map abd you can see how much of the Bangor area has all been enabled. You may as well do all the little ones with 1 or 2 cabs while you do the ones with 10 to 20 to get the scale for an efficient rollout.
Posted by csimon over 4 years ago
@welshwarrior: I did email them first,already ranted about this on the news article titled "Broadband grants planned for slow Welsh premises"! In fact, I emailed them twice. The reply was that they can't give out any info, that's when I looked at Twitter. Exchg is now accepting orders but there is still no indication of whether our village will get fibre access, I'm not even looking for a "when", more an "if". Either they haven't decided or they just don't want to give out the info. We just have to keep checking every day. The site is useless, info is only given out after it's happened.
Posted by csimon over 4 years ago
There are grants available for those not covered under the Superfast scheme, unfortunately we don't know if we're not covered until after 2016, because they won't tell us in advance! If they haven't decided then fair enough but why don't they be open and say that and then announce all the cabs when they do decide, rather than "we can't give out any info".It would save us a lot of time in continually checking every day.
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
@ csimon

I know what you mean about the site being useless - I can't understand why they only update it every 3 months (according to their email) when they must have decided on most before that 3 month period is up.
Posted by AndrueC over 4 years ago
@jumpmum: My turn came over a year ago. As I wrote in one of my comments - I moved away a long time ago. Down here in South Northants I'm getting 61/18 reliably. I'm just curious why that area gets such a raw deal.
Posted by astateoftrance over 4 years ago
That is fantastic news my exchange in Pembrokeshire is on the list to be upgraded, quite a surprise as we only have 500-600 premises on it.

So am I right in thinking all the cabinets on that exchange will be enabled?
Posted by welshwarrior over 4 years ago
@ astateoftrance

Which exchange is yours? Don't think all cabinets will be enabled. I think it depends of whether it's financially viable e.g. the amount of lines connected to the cabinet.
Posted by astateoftrance over 4 years ago
Is there somewhere I can check how many lines connect to the cabinet?

The exchange is boncath, I am in a nearby village with a similar number of premises in.
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