The £30 million FibreSpeed initiative provides a fibre optic network for North Wales, which initially links 14 strategic business parks throughout the region with high speed broadband services.
It is the first government supported network of its kind in the UK and part of a long term Welsh Assembly Government programme to transform high bandwidth availability and pricing across Wales.
Mr Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said:
This exciting advance helps arm Welsh businesses with a powerful competitive advantage in resisting the global financial crisis and preparing for the economic upturn that will follow.
It will also in due course encourage development of a comprehensive network to serve a growing number of communities.
FibreSpeed is the first project of its kind in the British Isles and represents a substantial enhancement of our country’s fibre optic infrastructure.
The first phase has seen installation of over 200 miles of brand new fibre optic infrastructure and broadband ‘points of presence’ built in the 14 business parks by Geo, the supplier chosen to build and operate the network. Service Providers are now invited to develop commercial relationships with FibreSpeed to offer competitive broadband retail propositions.
Funding for the FibreSpeed is provided by the Welsh Assembly Government and Geo, with support from the European Regional Development Fund, which are managed by the Assembly Government’s Welsh European Funding Office, WEFO.
FibreSpeed Chief Executive Chris Smedley commented:
Access to high speed communications has been highlighted as a critical part of success in the modern world, spanning every aspect of life from children’s performance at school to businesses’ ability to compete in the global economy.
FibreSpeed will allow North Wales to compete on a level playing field with the rest of the UK for the first time. Its world class infrastructure will create a new local telecoms market while giving businesses the opportunity to innovate, grow or relocate to the region.
27 November 2008