Cardiff’s Victorian arcades get superfast boost

Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership delivers high speed connectivity to Cardiff city centre

The Castle Quarter, popular with both shoppers and tourists to the Welsh capital, has been given a superfast boost thanks to Openreach and Cardiff’s Business Improvement District (BID).

Working in partnership with FOR Cardiff, Openreach engineers have fibre enabled four new cabinets near the arcades which will make superfast broadband available to around 200 businesses in the area.

Previously businesses in the Castle Quarter were experiencing download speeds of less than 20 megabits per second. Businesses will now be able to access speeds of up to 80 megabits per second as a result of the new infrastructure -which was delivered as part of Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership programme - allowing them to work more efficiently, create new opportunities and have a stronger connection with their customers.

Stephen Afia, general manager of Shop Rugby who are based opposite Cardiff Castle, said: “We’ve been waiting for superfast broadband to be available to us for years and it’s made such a massive difference already.”

“Now we have enough bandwidth to manage our website from the property, our upload speed is 20 times faster and it’s much easier for us to move things to the cloud to back up off site. We’re absolutely delighted with the results.”

Openreach engineers have been carrying out extensive work in the area as part of deal which was jointly funded by FOR Cardiff and Openreach.

Adrian Field, Executive Director for FOR Cardiff, said: “We have committed £42,000 to this project in order to help retain existing businesses as well as attract new ones to the Castle Quarter area. The feedback from businesses who have already taken advantage has been excellent. It was a project in our 5 year business plan that we were eager to deliver quickly and we are delighted that this has gone to schedule.”

Ed Hunt, Wales and West director of next generation access for Openreach, said: “This is great news for the business community in and around the Castle Quarter and we’ve been delighted to work with such a proactive Business Improvement District as FOR Cardiff.

“Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible and the Community Fibre Partnership is just another example of how we’re working with business and communities to find fibre solutions for their areas.”

Established in November 2016, the BID area covers 130 streets across the capital city stretching from Principality Stadium to Newport Road and Butetown to Cathays. FOR Cardiff is one of the largest BID areas in the UK comprising over 1000 business properties and new superfast broadband is just one of the many priorities for businesses that the BID will address in their five-year term.