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Welsh Rural Communities Celebrate Broadband Milestone

Thousands of rural homes and businesses in Wales are looking forward to a faster future thanks to the arrival of high-speed broadband.

Openreach, the UK’s largest telephone and broadband network, is announcing (DATE) that more than 100,000 premises across the UK are now part of its Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) scheme.

More than 5,000 properties are in Wales, and broadband champions from across the country – including Llancarfan and St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan – recently celebrated the milestone at the House of Commons.

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Openreach’s CFP scheme involves the company splitting the cost of installing faster broadband with the local community. In many cases, the local contribution can be entirely covered by broadband vouchers, such as the Welsh Government’s ABC voucher scheme* or the UK Government’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity Programme.* In Wales, businesses and communities can also benefit from a more generous Gigabit Voucher scheme* following an agreement between the UK and Welsh Governments.

Among those communities across Wales that are either already benefiting from high-speed broadband connectivity or are in the process of being connected as a result of signing up to Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership scheme, include: Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan; Nantgwynant, Gwynedd; Pumpsaint, Carmarthenshire and Paradwys on Ynys Mon.

Connie Dixon, Openreach’s Partnership Director for Wales, said:

“The CFP scheme has been a huge success and there are many communities across Wales that are delighted to have fast broadband speeds, despite living in some of the most rural areas. It builds on the work we’re already doing ourselves, and in partnership with the Welsh Government across Wales.”

“Faster broadband is essential for everyday life. There are many advantages of faster speeds, for both home users and businesses, and I’d strongly urge everyone to check if they live in a fibre-enabled area, and if so, get in touch with their broadband provider to find out more about upgrading.

“If you’re one of the few still not in a plan, now’s the time to find out more about Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership programme and the opportunities it provides.”

Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Economy Lee Waters said:

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“It’s good to see how the Welsh Government’s ABC Voucher scheme is helping communities, such as Llancarfan and Nant Gwynant, to access faster broadband.  There is no single solution to reach the remaining premises in Wales without access to superfast broadband and the ABC voucher, enhanced Gigabit voucher scheme and a further rollout with Openreach are all part of a package of measures to do this.” 

Martyn Hughes, Chairman of Llancarfan Community Council, said: “We’re incredibly excited about finally securing ultrafast broadband for Llancarfan and the surrounding community.”

“I would encourage all communities across Wales who are struggling to access an acceptable or cost effective broadband service to investigate the options an Openreach Community Fibre Partnership like ours can offer. For us as a Community Council, leveraging the ‘Access Broadband Cymru’ grant from the Welsh Government and engaging with the Openreach CFP team became an incredibly straightforward and expedient process. The key to the success of this has been the strength and support from the local community.”

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