Members of the Senedd and their support staff were able to quiz Openreach’s Wales Board members and engineers at a recent Senedd drop-in event about the innovative technology that’s being used by the nation’s largest network builder to roll-out its Full Fibre network across the country.
In addition to learning more about how Openreach is using VR headsets and submersible drones to bring some of the fastest and most reliable broadband speeds in Europe to Wales, MSs were able to try their hand at fibre splicing, when two fibres are joined together, under the guidance of apprentice engineers – Hannah Davies and Lewis Erskine.
The drop-in session was hosted by Kim Mears, Openreach Wales Board Chair. She said: “We all know that reliable, ultrafast internet connections can have a huge effect on businesses and households.
“We’ve already reached more than 630,000 homes and businesses across Wales with ultrafast Full Fibre technology, but we know there’s more to do and we’re committed to doing it. “This is one the very largest engineering projects of our generation and I’m proud of the work our engineers are doing up and down the country.”
As well as being faster, Full Fibre broadband provides more reliable, resilient, and future-proof connectivity, with fewer faults; more predictable, consistent speeds; and enough capacity to use multiple devices at once.
Sponsor of the drop-in was Huw-Irranca Davies MS for Ogmore who said: “We all know the importance of a good broadband connection both at home and at work – and the need to upgrade our digital infrastructure to Full Fibre, which is faster and more reliable.”
“The economic benefits of connecting everyone in Wales to Full Fibre are clear and the investment that Openreach is putting into its Full Fibre infrastructure and the training and development of both recruits and existing engineers is a great demonstration of their commitment and their ambition for Wales.”
“We will continue to strive for improvements in mobile and broadband connectivity for business and residents across Ogmore and the whole of Wales. I’m delighted that Welsh Government support is extending the reach of superfast connectivity to more and more communities, including the hardest to reach.”
Openreach has announced plans to invest in Full Fibre broadband for the majority of premises across Wales. It’s part of the company’s plans to reach 25 million UK homes and businesses by the end of 2026.
With a workforce of around 2,300 in Wales, Openreach employs the nation’s largest team of telecoms engineers and professionals.
- This short video explains what Full fibre technology is and you can find out more about their build programme here.
- Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in Wales to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £2 billion boost to the Welsh economy.