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Fibre broadband rollout hits 95% milestone in Blaenau Gwent

Monday, January 18th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The rollout of fibre broadband in Wales has reached more than 95% of homes and businesses in Blaenau Gwent.

More than 30,000 premises in the county are able to access fibre services thanks to the Superfast Cymru programme.

The success of the rollout has made Blaenau Gwent one of the best digitally connected areas in the UK, according to the Welsh Government.

Deputy minister for skills and technology Julie James said: “The Welsh Government is investing in Superfast Cymru which is playing a vital role in bringing superfast speeds to communities throughout Wales and it’s great news that more than 95% of premises in Blaenau Gwent now have access.

“This technology can make a real difference, and will provide a boost for the area’s economic prosperity helping businesses work differently and access the global market more quickly.

“It also ensures people have the capability to get online more quickly and access services that benefit their day to day lives.”

Superfast Cymru is a partnership between the Welsh Government and BT, with additional funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The deployment of fibre broadband is being carried out by BT Openreach engineers and continues to progress with 130 premises on average getting access to superfast broadband every hour across Wales.

A total of more than 1.2m Welsh homes and businesses now have access to the technology as a result of Superfast Cymru and BT’s commercial rollout.

Superfast Cymru programme director Ed Hunt said: “Superfast broadband will have a huge impact on the way we live our lives in Wales.

“It helps business to move, act and trade quickly and more effectively. It enables schoolchildren to access their homework online, helps provide care for our elderly, as well as offering better access to e-commerce, social media and home entertainment. For all of these things, fast broadband is essential.”

'Absolute business necessity'

Business Industrial Solutions Limited (BIS) in the Crown Business Park, Tredegar, is one of the businesses benefiting from superfast broadband in Blaenau Gwent.

The business provides industrial supplies and energy saving products to an extensive customer base including many blue-chip clients.

BIS strategy director Stuart Dean said: “Superfast broadband has made an immeasurable difference to both our business processes and our growth potential.

“This means that for the first time all staff have simultaneous access to the internet; this has improved communications capabilities with both our suppliers and our customers while providing process benefits.

“We are now able to develop an online sales presence to improve our customer experience and increase sales.

“Additionally we can now initiate improvements to our computer systems including offsite support and the use of remote cloud-based servers. Superfast broadband is not an option, it is an absolute business necessity.”

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