Kirsty Williams AM gets close-up view of fibre broadband roll-out

Kirsty Williams AM has been meeting with Openreach engineers working on the next generation of broadband technology to connect properties across Brecon & Radnorshire.

She saw a new ‘full fibre’ network which has been built directly from the exchange in Hay-on-Wye to serve properties in Glasbury with more reliable, ultrafast internet connections.

The Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP or full fibre) infrastructure will future-proof homes and businesses for decades to come and bring with it access to some of the fastest broadband speeds in Europe.

FTTP has the potential to bring speeds of up to one gigabit per second (1Gbps), which is about 18 times faster than the current UK average. The faster speeds will allow Glasbury residents to work from home or download boxsets of their favourite show in seconds rather than minutes.

During her tour of the new fibre network Kirsty Williams AM said: “People expect to be able to use their broadband first time - every time. We use the broadband so much nowadays. From helping with shopping or school work to working from home my constituents need fast, reliable broadband.”

“I’m delighted to see the work that Openreach has done to roll-out the latest future-proof infrastructure and certainly appreciate the challenges they often face in terms of difficult weather. There’s more to do but I welcome the efforts that are being made by local Openreach engineers to bring fibre broadband coverage to as much of the constituency as possible.”

In addition to having a hands-on go at splicing fibre, the Assembly member for Brecon & Radnorshire also got an update on Openreach’s commitment to further extend fibre broadband across her constituency and across Wales.

With a workforce of more than 2,000 throughout Wales, Openreach has recruited more than 450 new roles, mostly trainee engineers, to help the business deliver ultrafast Fibre to the Premises, support evolving mobile networks and improve customer service over the last 24 months.

The visit was hosted by Connie Dixon, Openreach’s partnership director for Wales, who said: “At Openreach, we’ll never be just a city fibre builder.”

“We’ve always worked hard to improve connections to isolated, less commercially attractive communities through a combination of inventive engineering and effective funding partnerships. The community of Glasbury are now able to benefit from full fibre thanks to the partnership between Openreach and the Welsh Government.

“It was great to have the chance to show Kirsty Williams what’s been done to build and connect her constituents to our full fibre network and outline the benefits that full fibre offers.

 “People also need to remember that upgrades are not automatic, so I’d encourage residents of Glasbury and the wider community to see if they can take advantage of this new technology by visiting our fibre checker website - www.openreach.com/fibre-broadband .”

Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Cabinet footprint, at speeds of up to 80Mbps, currently passes more than 1.3 million homes and business premises in Wales, where take-up of superfast services across all networks stands at around 53 per cent.


1. These are wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary. FTTP is capable of delivering the fastest residential broadband speeds in the UK – up to 1Gbps – fast enough to download a two hour HD movie in 25 seconds or a 45-minute HD TV programme in just five seconds.