The Superfast Cymru programme is continuing with its goal of giving 96% of premises in Wales the option of a fast fibre broadband service and has let us know that since work started in January 2013 some 135,000 premises have the option to order a fibre based broadband service.
The astute will have noticed in the release on the Welsh Assembly website that superfast is used carefully and it needs to be emphasised that the Welsh target is not 96% with a superfast service, but 96% with a line that is capable of a fibre based service. This means even if the FTTC can only manage 5 Mbps downloads it counts in the 96% for now.
"Superfast Cymru, is taking fibre broadband to parts of Wales, like Rhydyfelin in Aberystwyth, not covered by commercial plans. It will transform the broadband landscape across our country, ensuring we are at the forefront of the digital economy in Europe.
European investment has been absolutely crucial in enabling us to deliver this major project, and it means that by the end of spring 2016, 96% of premises in Wales will have access fast fibre broadband."Finance Minister Jane Hutt
Our analysis of Wales suggests some 6.4% of lines are Exchange Only based, and when taking into account that cable broadband is available to 21% of premises if all the green street cabinets were enabled for FTTC some 80% would get 30 Mbps or faster, a further 4% getting between 24 Mbps and 30 Mbps. Some 5% would be stuck on speeds of 2 Mbps or slower. Fortunately we have already seen indications that some Exchange Only lines are being upgraded and FTTP deployed in some areas, but this will be offset by the likelihood that some small cabinets (e.g. ones serving less than 20 premises) may not receive a fibre twin.
|thinkbroadband analysis of potential superfast coverage in Wales if just FTTC deployed on top of existing cable coverage|
|Area||% at 30 Mbps or faster||% at 2 Mbps or slower|
|Abertawe - Swansea||91.7%||1.8%|
|Blaenau Gwent - Blaenau Gwent||89.6%||2.3%|
|Bro Morgannwg - the Vale of Glamorgan||85.3%||3.7%|
|Caerdydd - Cardiff||93.6%||1.5%|
|Caerffili - Caerphilly||85.2%||4.4%|
|Casnewydd - Newport||88.1%||3.1%|
|Castell-nedd Port Talbot - Neath Port Talbot||90.1%||1.7%|
|Conwy - Conwy||68.2%||4.2%|
|Gwynedd - Gwynedd||59.8%||9%|
|Merthyr Tudful - Merthyr Tydfil||87.9%||2.1%|
|Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr - Bridgend||79.7%||6.6%|
|Powys - Powys||43.8%||15%|
|Rhondda Cynon Taf - Rhondda Cynon Taf||88.2%||3.5%|
|Sir Benfro - Pembrokeshire||65.6%||8.5%|
|Sir Ceredigion - Ceredigion||46%||15.2%|
|Sir Ddinbych - Denbighshire||76%||4.1%|
|Sir Fynwy - Monmouthshire||68.6%||7.2%|
|Sir Gaerfyrddin - Carmarthenshire||63.8%||8.3%|
|Sir y Fflint - Flintshire||79.6%||5.3%|
|Sir Ynys Mon - Isle of Anglesey||58.3%||8.2%|
|Tor-faen - Torfaen||90.1%||2.2%|
|Wrecsam - Wrexham||79.6%||3.1%|
TO AVOID CONFUSION: The table above is from calculations by thinkbroadband on what is possible in Wales, and is NOT a reflection of current levels of coverage. We are attempting to calculate something approaching what may be the result of the Superfast Cymru project in terms of people actually getting a superfast connection.
Our calculations take into account line length from the cabinet, hence why some areas get a much lower superfast coverage figure due to the dispersed nature of premises, the distance versus speed equation is fairly pessimistic as it assumes a high level of cross-talk, but provides a fair representation we believe for areas where demand is high.
Once we have more information on the FTTP roll-out areas and are sure it will be deployed and also which EO lines will be upgraded then we will adjust our figures, but for now these represent a good indication of what is possible across the various Welsh council areas. Unless of course the Superfast Cymru project wants to publish its own contracted figures for these areas.