With an ever increasing need to work remotely, homes and businesses require robust connectivity to engage in digital activities. Most of us when home working are sharing bandwidth with the rest of the household. If it’s not the Xbox, Netflix or internet shopping slowing you down then maybe your banging your head against the wall due to what can only be descried as one step up from dial up!
If this is the case, are you aware of the recent government roll out plans to increase fibre connectivity directly to your home?
About the roll-out programme
While the vast majority of homes and businesses have access to good quality digital connectivity, we need a range of solutions to help those without access to fast and reliable broadband. The Digital strategy for Wales outlines what the Welsh Government are doing to achieve this.
One of these solutions is to build more fibre broadband to homes and businesses using public funding. Building upon previous roll-outs, the government are working with Openreach to bring fibre broadband to a further 39,000 properties across Wales using £56m of public funding. This is made up of Welsh Government and EU funds with some extra funding from the UK Government.
Properties in this roll-out will have access to a future proofed ‘fibre to the premises’ broadband service, also known as ‘full fibre’. This type of technology allows gigabit broadband speeds to be achieved.
Future roll-out plans
Openreach are delivering this project on behalf of the government. Where we all have access to use their address checker in order to find out what the plans are local to your area. This includes plans for all projects, as well as those being delivered with public funding
Visit the funding for faster broadband page to find out about the other options available to you to get faster broadband.
Building a fibre broadband network is a large scale, complex engineering challenge. Meaning that not every property in the project will get fibre at the same time. The roll-out stages are:
At this stage Openreach carry out initial checks. These determine if fibre can be provided to your property under this project. This stage does not happen in every area at the same time. They include:
- Surveying the area for natural barriers to the property such as rivers and hills.
- How close the property is to the existing broadband network.
- If the local council has given permission to do certain work. For example, a permit for roadworks.
- If there is agreement, in principle, to lay cables or put equipment on private land if needed.
- If the property is due to get fast broadband from another project.
- Whether the cost of delivering broadband to the property is good value for public money.
Once initial checks have been carried out, approved properties move into the build stage. This means:
- Plans are put in place by Openreach to build the network needed to give a property access to fibre broadband.
- Any agreements to access public or private land are finalised. These agreements might state when work can take place. For example, land access or road closures may be limited to certain times of year.
- Work will be scheduled by Openreach and resources allocated. This may not be immediately and will not happen everywhere at the same time.
There are two phases to the build stage:
- Phase one: expected to end in 2021.
- Phase two: expected to end in 2022.
Please note, a connection cannot be guaranteed.
Once work begins in an area there can sometimes be unexpected physical factors on the ground that can impact on the build. These issues may need extra engineering, planning or land access to resolve them. Where extra work is needed, beyond original plans, this can delay roll-out in an area. In some cases, if extra work means a significant cost increase, Openreach may not be able to provide a connection.
Public funding will only be used to pay for completed connections. A completed connection means that an order for fibre broadband can be placed with a broadband provider.
Once Openreach has completed the build work to a property it should be able to get fibre broadband. At this stage a period of testing takes place by Welsh Government. Even while these checks take place a property should still be able to order faster broadband.
To get faster speeds you need to upgrade to a fibre broadband package. Your current broadband won’t change unless you upgrade. Speak to one of our team to find out what packages are available to you.