Pendine and Ferryside among latest Welsh communities set for ultrafast upgrade

Openreach has announced the latest set of rural Welsh communities that could soon get better broadband with the support of the UK Government’s Gigabit Voucher scheme.

Openreach has identified Pendine and Ferryside as two of the latest Welsh villages & towns to be in scope for full fibre broadband. Residents of the two areas are already able to pledge Gigabit Vouchers to bring full fibre broadband to their communities, however Openreach are urging more local people to take the next step by applying for and pooling together their free Government Gigabit Vouchers to help fund the build. This would equate to a voucher uptake of 190 homes in Pendine and 134 in Ferryside.

The decision on the fibre infrastructure build, the scope of premises covered and the timeline are all subject to technical surveys that take place as well as the number of vouches pledged by the community. Residents can check if they qualify and pledge their voucher on the Connect My Community website.

The validated vouchers don’t bear any cost to residents and sufficient take up will enable Openreach to work with a local community to build a customised, co-funded network. The vouchers can be combined to extend the ultrafast, ultra-reliable network to premises in outlying rural areas which won’t be covered by private investment.

Martin Williams, Director of Partnerships for Openreach in Wales, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the people of these locations to bring all the benefits of ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband to their community.

“Our Fibre Community Partnership programme has meant that we’ve been able to potentially bring hundreds more communities across the UK, into our Full Fibre build plans. But building out the network to these harder to reach locations is still challenging – which is why its only possible with everyone working together – you, your neighbours and Openreach.

“Everyone who pledges a voucher will be doing their bit to help make their community one of the best-connected places in the UK.

“We’re investing £15 billion to build full fibre broadband to 25 million homes – and more than six million of those will be in the toughest third of the UK – but we can’t upgrade the whole country alone. This latest support from government is a vital part of that process.”

Once the pledge target for the scheme is reached, residents need to ensure they then validate their vouchers with the Government so that Openreach can confirm that building work can get underway.

As part of the funding conditions residents are asked to commit to ordering a full fibre service from a provider of their choice for at least 12 months once the new network is available and confirm that they are connected.

It was recently announced that 44,000 homes and businesses across Wales are benefiting from improved connectivity thanks to a successful partnership between Openreach and the Welsh Government.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism – Cllr Hazel Evans said, “This is a welcomed announcement from Openreach that gives both Pendine and Ferryside the potential to benefit from improved connectivity.

“Rural and coastal areas such as these are becoming more reliant on digital connectivity, not just for everyday residential use, but to also ensure that they remain attractive as tourist areas.

The Gigabit Voucher Scheme gives residents the opportunity to come together to solve what is an on-going issue with poor broadband.”

Full fibre technology provides more reliable, resilient, and future-proof connectivity; meaning fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds and enough capacity to easily meet growing data demands. It’s also future proof, which means it will serve generations to come and won’t need to be upgraded for decades.

Fibre optics – strands of glass around one-tenth the thickness of a human hair – transmit data using light signals. Fibre is smaller, lighter and more durable than copper cabling and less vulnerable to damage.

If you have any questions relating to broadband connectivity in Carmarthenshire, you can speak to your local Broadband Engagement Officer: Aled Nicholas – broadband@carmarthenshire.gov.uk

Visit Openreach’s website for more information on Openreach fibre broadband.