BT wins fibre broadband rollout deal in Wales worth £425m

Fibre broadband rollout will catapult Wales into the "fast lane" says First Minister Carwyn Jones

BT has won a lucrative contract to rollout super fast broadband in Wales. The £425m deal is being hailed as the biggest of its kind in the UK

BT has signed a multi-million pound deal with the Welsh government to provide up to 96 per cent of homes and businesses with faster broadband speeds.

The £425m deal, thought to be the biggest of its kind in the UK, will see almost all Welsh businesses and homes boast an internet connection that's up to 15 times faster than what’s currently available by 2015.

It follows on from an Ofcom report that found Wales has the lowest level of super fast broadband than any other UK country.

A spokesperson for BT told T3 that work on the project will begin "hopefully within the next few weeks".

According to First Minister Carwyn Jones, the deal will see Wales move into the “fast lane,” leaving the likes of England and Scotland lagging behind.

He said: "Today is the day that Wales moved into the fast lane. Our partnership with BT will see to it that Wales does more than simply catch with our neighbours.

"We intend to catch-up, overtake and then set the pace that others will strive to match."

Worth every penny

Once work has been completed, users will be offered download speeds of up to 80MBS - the highest is currently five to six MBS in Wales - while a much faster 330MBS option will be available to businesses.

The speedy service will be delivered via fibre optic cables which will be laid across tens of thousands of miles across Wales, with most of the focus being shifted towards major towns and cities.

A series of deals will see funding coaxed from several different sources - the Welsh government is pumping £58m into the scheme, while BT will inject some £220m over the course of the project.

Liv Garfield, chief executive of Openreach, BT’s local network business which will be deploying the infrastructure, said: “This project will position Wales as a broadband leader and we are delighted to have signed this contract with the Welsh Government to make it happen.

"Wales will become one of the best connected countries in the world and will be ahead of the chasing pack. The Welsh Government has shown great vision and we are certain that will pay off in terms of economic growth.

"The apprenticeships and work experience that we’re offering will mean the roll-out of this next generation network will inspire the next generation of workers.”