Wales to benefit from additional £12m to fund Superfast Broadband roll-out

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An extra £12 million of government money for superfast broadband will help business start-ups and job creation in some of Wales’s hardest to reach rural areas, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has announced.

The nationwide rollout is a key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future by providing better access to superfast broadband, and in allocating funding the government has worked to ensure as many families and businesses as possible benefit.

More than 100,000 Welsh homes and businesses can now get access to superfast speeds as a result of the UK Government’s roll-out of superfast broadband.

The UK Government has already invested £57 million pounds in the Superfast Cymru project which is on track to deliver superfast broadband to 96% of homes and businesses in Wales by spring 2016.

Local projects in Wales will now receive an additional £12million of funding, with the hardest to reach locations amongst those who stand to benefit most.

Over 10,000 homes and businesses UK wide are now gaining access each week, with this figure expected to reach 40,000 per week by summer this year. There are strong economic growth and efficiency reasons why local authorities should contribute towards to the cost of rolling out superfast broadband, and the additional funding will be awarded on a match funding basis.

According to Culture Secretary Maria Miller: “Superfast Broadband will benefit everyone in Wales – whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. Thousands of homes and businesses now have access and it is helping people with their everyday tasks. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra money we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane.”

The government also recently committed £10m to look at ways to reach those areas in the “final 5 per cent”. Potential technologies that could be piloted under this fund include:

  • Using 4G mobile signal to deliver ‘fixed wireless’ superfast broadband’.
  • Using fibre direct to premises.
  • Taking fibre from broadband cabinets to a distribution point further down the network, increasing speeds by reducing the reliance on copper.
  • Satellite technology.

The fund will open on 17 March 2014 and we are asking local authorities to offer support to these pilot projects.

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