Broadband News

Openreach announce Swansea as next Fibre First area

Another announcement on more Fibre to the Premises across the UK and with a political ambition to reach 50% FTTP coverage by 2025 we can expect to see many more of these.

Openreach has added Swansea as its second First First area in Wales and joins the list of Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham and the Wirral where Openreach is busy rolling out FTTP using its own money.

The first areas of Swansea to benefit will be the SA1, SA2 and SA5 postcode areas with those postcodes accounting for around half the 116,000 premises in Swansea. The ambition is to make FTTP available to tens of thousands of premises, so clearly there will be a lot of happy and unhappy people. As things stand today 3.81% of Swansea premises have access to full fibre.

This is great news for Swansea, as it will be able to benefit from some of the fastest broadband speeds available. Wales already leads the way with fast fibre broadband as we have the largest rural Fibre to the Premises network in the UK with speeds of over 100 Mbps as a result of our Superfast Cymru programme.

It’s good to see Openreach taking this further by investing their new Fibre First technology in Swansea.

Welsh Government Leader of the House with responsibility for digital Julie James

Other Fibre First areas seem to have developed a pattern where some business exchange only line areas seem to gain access to FTTP, and then there is a mixture of overlay with existing VDSL2 areas and the odd cabinet area that missed out on VDSL2 jumping from ADSL2+ to offering full fibre. We would caution that people should not expect the tens of thousands of premises to appear overnight, the Fibre First roll-out as with almost all the other broadband infrastructure projects is taking time to scale up to delivering in volume. With Virgin Media available to 71.5% of premises and 18.1% coverage of combining to give an ultrafast footprint of 76.5% it will be interesting to see where the Openreach FTTP appears.

Ever the cynic we have pulled our rural region figures out for Great Britain and looked into whether Wales can lay claim to the largest rural FTTP network and when comparing against the other regions Wales does indeed come top, though the South West does get close in second place and because of the large number of premises in the South West if you do a straight numbers comparison the South West has over double the number of rural FTTP premises.

thinkbroadband analysis of broadband coverage in rural areas of Great Britains regions
Figures 30th November 2018
Ordered by descending level of full fibre (FTTP) coverage
Area% fibre based
VDSL2 or
% superfast
30 Mbps or faster
% Ultrafast
100 Mbps or faster
Full Fibre
Openreach FTTP
% Under 2 Mbps download% Below USO
10 Mbps download
1 Mbps upload
Includes ADSL2+
Rural Wales 94.4% 86.1% 13.8% 11.99%
2.3% 9.5%
Rural South West 95.1% 82.8% 16.3% 10.40%
2.3% 9.4%
Rural South East 97.8% 88.3% 18.2% 8.84%
1.5% 5.7%
Rural London 97.9% 85.4% 14.6% 7.29%
3.2% 9.3%
Rural North West 96.4% 85% 10.7% 5.56%
3.2% 9.3%
Rural Yorkshire and Humber 95.8% 86% 15.2% 5.00%
2.7% 8.8%
Rural West Midlands 97% 87.7% 18.6% 4.97%
1.7% 6.9%
Rural East of England 94.7% 85.4% 14.5% 3.19%
2.1% 9.3%
Rural East Midlands 97.6% 89.8% 17.5% 3.16%
1.6% 5.6%
Rural Scotland 92.8% 81.9% 5.9% 1.37%
3.8% 13.6%
Rural North East 97.6% 92.3% 14.1% 0.82%
1.2% 4.5%



I am now certain that the Fibre first program is going to lead to a lot more G-Fast/FTTP/Virgin multiple coverage. On the ground it is now apparent that most of the Whitchurch area of Cardiff is having overbuild of G-Fast ( Live) with FTTP ( Built not yet live 05/12/18). Barden network engineering contractors have multiple cabling vehicles and engineers putting CSPs on Every pole in the area ( all old builds are overhead), methodically working each street in turn.

  • jumpmum
  • 9 months ago

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