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Wales superfast broadband rollout reaches Pembrokeshire

Wednesday, March 11th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

More than 23,500 premises in Pembrokeshire now have access to fibre broadband speeds as part of the superfast rollout programme in Wales.

In the latest milestone in the Superfast Cymru programme, Tenby in Pembrokeshire has become the most recent area to benefit from improved broadband.

Households and businesses in the town join nearby Haverfordwest, Johnston, Milford Haven, Neyland, Pembroke and Saundersfoot, who already have access to fibre broadband as part of the rollout.

A fibre service will be switched on this month in Hebron, Crymych, Crosswell, Treffgarne and Letterston, and engineering work is due to start before the end of the month in fellow Welsh towns Fishguard, Broadhaven, Narbeth, Newport (Dyfed), Carew, Manorbier, and Clynderwen.

The Superfast Cymru programme is part of the Welsh Government’s aim of providing 96% of premises in Wales with access to fast fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2016.

The partnership between the Welsh Government, BT, UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund is the largest of its kind in the UK.

Announcing the latest development, deputy minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James said: “The Superfast Cymru programme is changing the digital landscape in Wales and I’m pleased to see more and more premises gaining access in Pembrokeshire.

“Tenby is the latest to benefit in the county and more communities will be able to take advantage of superfast speeds as roll-out of the programme continues.

“The pace of technological development shows no sign of slowing down.

“We are embracing this change and Superfast Cymru is a clear demonstration of our commitment to seeing Wales become a truly digital nation.”

Missed out

Last week, the Welsh government announced a new project to extend superfast broadband in parts of the country which may have missed out under the existing rollout.

The Superfast Infill Project, funded by the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, will support the established Superfast Cymru programme.

It is intended to address premises across the country that previously wouldn't have access to superfast broadband by 2016.

The project will focus initially on businesses in Wales that were not covered by commercial broadband rollouts or by Superfast Cymru.

Many of the premises identified across north and south Wales were originally expected to be covered as part of a commercial rollout. However, a review by the Welsh government revealed this had still not taken place.

Announcing its latest rollout in Pembrokeshire, Superfast Cymru said households and businesses who want superfast speeds need to contact an internet service provider (ISP) of their choice to sign up to receive fast fibre.

If they choose not to upgrade to fibre broadband, they will be able to continue using their existing broadband service.

In December, Superfast Cymru programme director Ed Hunt told Cable.co.uk that it was "immensely challenging" to bring superfast broadband to Wales.

Mr Hunt described challenges from the geography in Wales to access to power, narrow roads, and discoveries of rare flora and fauna, but he said the drive to bring connectivity to more than 96% of homes and businesses in Wales by 2016 is on track to succeed.

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