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Written Statement - Update on ICT Infrastructure

Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology
The Superfast Cymru project continues to progress with over 425,000 homes and businesses now able to access fast fibre broadband as a result of the project.
Since the start of April 41 exchange areas have now gone live with fibre now available to the first homes and businesses in the area.

In my previous statement of 3 March 2015 I set out our plans to provide superfast broadband to those premises not covered by either the commercial roll-out or the Superfast Cymru intervention area. Around 45,000 premises were identified in these categories through an Open Market Review (OMR) and public consultation carried out last year.

In that statement I announced that on 11 February we issued an invitation to tender to deliver fast fibre broadband to around 2,500 businesses premises based in industrial estates and business parks the length and breadth of the country. The tender process has now closed and officials are considering the bids.  I will provide a further update on the successful bidders in early July. Discussions are taking place with BT regarding the remaining residential premises. I will update Members in due course.

In addition to the measures outlined above we intend to deliver a new scheme to make superfast speeds available to all homes and businesses across Wales not identified as part of the OMR nor addressed by the Superfast Cymru project. 

We anticipate that the new scheme will use a range of technologies including satellite, wireless and 4G to deliver superfast speeds to homes and businesses no matter where they are. Officials will start a tender process this week to secure expert support to develop the details of the programme which I intend to launch this financial year to make Wales is one of the best connected countries in the world.