A major milestone was passed this week as the 1 million mark for the number of premises in Wales passed by a fibre based broadband solution (FTTC, cable or FTTP) was declared by the Government.
Our own independent tracking of the roll-out indicates that this means 75.1% of Wales have access to a fibre based solution or if you add a superfast qualifier this drops to 69.3% (around 0.1% have access to native GEA-FTTP). This is significantly better than a year or two ago, but is still the lowest out of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
"There is now work going on in every local authority in Wales as we work towards our aim of 96% of premises in Wales having access to fast fibre broadband by Spring 2016. Superfast Cymru is an ambitious and challenging programme, which is making a real difference. Fast fibre broadband benefits homes and businesses and will ensure that Wales is at the forefront of the digital revolution."First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones
While FTTC is the dominant technology and leads to complaints about last century technology, the combined commercial and fibre based roll-out has pushed some 2150km of fibre out to 3,200 cabinets and while the use of FTTP is increasing use of it where it is economic to do so.
As with the other parts of the UK the more urban areas have the best coverage, due to the higher population density.
|thinkbroadband independent analysis of fibre coverage in parts of Wales|
|Area||Fibre Availability||Superfast Availability||FTTP|
|Rhondda Cynon Taf||92.3%||85.5%||0%|
|Bro Morgannwg - the Vale of Glamorgan||87.7%||81.3%||0%|
|Sir y Fflint - Flintshire||86.1%||78.1%||2.8%|
|Caerffili - Caerphilly||86%||78.5%||0%|
|Castell-nedd Port Talbot - Neath Port Talbot||84.8%||81%||0%|
|Sir Ynys Mon - Isle of Anglesey||70.9%||60.2%||0%|
|Sir Ddinbych - Denbighshire||57.6%||54.5%||0%|
|Sir Fynwy - Monmouthshire||56%||48.9%||0%|
|Sir Benfro - Pembrokeshire||42.3%||37.1%||0%|
|Sir Ceredigion - Ceredigion||34.2%||28.4%||0%|
|Sir Gaerfyrddin - Carmarthenshire||26.5%||22.3%||0%|
The target of 96% coverage of fibre based based broadband by Spring 2016 needs a lot more work and as 2015 progresses it will be possible to see if it is going to be late or not, though for now Cardiff and Blaenau Gwent are within a whisker already and if they break the target this may mean the more rural parts only ever get to a lower coverage level. This skewing is simply down to the pressure to ensure value for money, i.e. rolling out something fibre based to as many people as possible for as little money as possible.