New internet backbone for North Wales
Some sites like ComputerWeekly.com are suggesting a new fibre network that will cost some £30 million and provide speeds of 10Gbps will benefit Welsh hill farmers.
The reality at this point in time for the FibreSpeed project seems to be very different. The network is actually a combination of fibre and microwave links forming a 200 mile long Internet motorway stretching from Manchester to Holyhead, initially providing connectivity to businesses in a number of business parks, namely Wrexham Technology Park, Wrexham Industrial Estate, Hawarden Business Park, Deeside Industrial Estate, St Asaph Business Park, North Wales Business Park, Parc Menai, Victoria Dock and Parc Cybi.
The project is not going to be pushing fibre out to individual homes or out to single farms, but what it should do is reduce the cost of providing backhaul in the region. This in turn may reduce the costs of unbundling a telephone exchange leading to more LLU options. Alas LLU is not going to do much for those in the area on a long telephone line where speeds of 0.5Mbps or less are all that is possible, and of course rural farms are a perfect example of this.
All too often any mention of fibre lately is used to conjure up images of ultra-broadband to the home or business, when in reality the vast majority of us are already probably just a mile or less from a piece of fibre that has been laid in the ground in the last ten or so years.