Swansea riders get air-time quicker with ultrafast broadband


Swansea riders and skateboarders are reaping the benefits of ultrafast broadband thanks to an Openreach GFast trial in the city.


Swansea riders and skateboarders are reaping the benefits of ultrafast broadband thanks to an Openreach GFast trial in the city.

The Exist/Community Urban Sports Project (CUSP) Skatepark, based at the foot of Mount Pleasant and opened in 2011, is a not for profit venture that’s used by more than 250 local riders and skateboarders every week to fine tune their half-pipes, 180s and heel-flips.

The popular skate park, which also doubles up as a venue for local community events, is one of around 40 businesses piloting the latest ultrafast technology, GFast, which is capable of delivering download speeds of up to 330Mbps – more than 10 times the UK national average.

Openreach plans a national rollout of ultrafast broadband to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 and 10 million will be upgraded using this cutting edge technology.

The skate park signed up to be part of the Swansea trial via Openreach and were connected in June.

With ultrafast broadband speeds being made available in the skate park both riders and skateboarders are able to upload videos of their moves and tricks, filmed on their smartphones or GoPros, on to popular social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and You Tube in an instant.

But the benefits of having a fast and reliable broadband connection isn’t limited to those that use the ramps and boards as parents can work on their laptops in the Exist/CUSP Skatepark café while their children ride the ramps.

Exist/CUSP Skateparkdirector, Kate Leonard explains: ”We find that skateboarding and social media go hand-in-hand.”

“A number of our riders and skateboarders like to film themselves on the ramps and then upload their content on to You Tube, Instagram and other social media sites.

“Rather than having to wait an age people using our facilities can now do this in an instant with an ultrafast broadband connection throughout the skatepark.

“But the benefits are also felt by the parents – which is really important for us. We’re seeing more and more of them catching up with their work on the laptops in the café while their children are enjoying themselves.

“Our remit here is to encourage a healthy lifestyle – quite simply to get our youngsters off the sofa and to do something active.

“Having a good broadband connection isn’t the reason that our riders and skateboarders would use the skatepark but without a doubt it’s an additional bonus for them – and their parents – when they are here.”

Exist/CUSP Skatepark also stage a number of art shows, such as photography exhibitions, and cinema nights throughout the year that will benefit greatly from having fast broadband connection.

Around 13,000 households and businesses in and around Swansea including, Gowerton, Landore, Townhill and Oystermouth, are set to benefit from the high-speed service as we begin switching on the pilot areas for our new ultrafast broadband network.

Kim Mears, Openreach managing director for infrastructure delivery said: “It’s great to see the different ways that our ultrafast broadband network is being used across the country.”

“From helping families to download HD films in seconds, saving businesses time and money to helping not-for profit organisations such as Exist/CUSP Skatepark in Swansea to encourage youngsters to have more active lifestyles -there’s a multitude of reasons why people are signing up for fast and reliable broadband connectivity.

“Wales and the UK is ahead of its major European neighbours when it comes to superfast broadband but technology never stands still – that’s why we’re building on our existing fibre network and leading the way in deploying ultrafast speeds.

“We need to stay ahead in order to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Gfast will allow us to do that by reaching the largest number of people in the quickest possible time and transforming the UK broadband landscape from superfast to ultrafast.”

People living in the pilot areas in Swansea who want to try the new service should contact their internet service provider to see if they’re offering a service, and to find out more about availability and pricing.

GFast technology changes the way today’s broadband is transmitted, delivering ultrafast speeds that have previously required fibre to be run all the way to the premises (FTTP). This is significant as GFast will make ultrafast fibre available to a much larger number of homes and businesses and more quickly than if it had focused on FTTP alone.

People wanting to take advantage of the new ultrafast technology can find out more about which providers offer this service by visiting www.openreach.co.uk/buyultrafast