Up to £80m investment for next stage Superfast scheme

Up to £80m is planned to be invested in the next superfast broadband scheme, to help ensure every property in Wales is able to access fast reliable broadband by 2020.

The scheme will be a successor to the  flagship Superfast Cymru project which has already brought high-speed broadband to nearly 614,000 premises in Wales and is forecast to deliver over 100,000 further premises before if closes in 2017.

Since 2012 the Welsh Government has invested over £162m of public funding in broadband infrastructure in Wales, and will invest a further £62m over the final year.  An additional £12.9m from gain-share* is also planned to be invested to extend the reach of Superfast Cymru next year. In order to reach those few premises not reached by Superfast Cymru or commercial rollout an Open Market review is due to take place in November to establish premises by premises where superfast broadband is available.  This will then inform the next scheme with delivery beginning in January 2018.

The scheme will potentially be backed by £80m public funding including:

  • £20m committed in the recent Welsh Government budget over the next four years
  • £20m from European structural funds, subject to WEFO approval.
  • £37m from gain-share as a result of take-up of superfast broadband
  • £2m outstanding commitment from UK government towards new superfast broadband project.

This investment will, in turn, leverage private sector match funding to further extend broadband coverage to the hardest to reach premises across Wales by 2020.

Jeremy Miles AM said: ‘Having access to superfast broadband is essential, not only for domestic use, but for businesses to thrive in the competitive global economy. Sperfast Cymru has been very successful with nearly 614,000 premises connected, and it is not over yet. The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, Taking Wales Forward promises fast broadband to every property in Wales, and that is why £80m is being invested.  Even though this scheme is European funded and is subject to Welsh European Funding Office approval, the Welsh Government is confident that the UK Treasury will guarantee to honour this funding and that it will be approved.’