Households and businesses in Swansea experience ultrafast broadband

100 households and businesses in Swansea are among the first in the UK to be experiencing ultrafast broadband.

They’re trialling G.Fast technology, which is capable of delivering download speeds of up to 330 megabits per second. That’s more than ten times the current UK average.

The premises based in the Swansea SA1 Waterfront and Maritime Quarter will be taking part in the free trial for the next six months. Its aim is to test the technology, including speeds and customer experiences.

With G.fast, the way current broadband is transmitted is changed, and it delivers speeds that would currently require fibre to be run all the way to the user. BT says this will enable it to make ultrafast broadband available to more people.

If BT’s trials are successful, including the one in Swansea, it’ll start deploying the technology right around the UK in 2016/17. This will be alongside its fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-premises services.

Welcoming the announcement, Julie James, deputy minister of skills and technology, said: “Wales is already leading the way in terms of superfast broadband coverage and we welcome the fact that BT has selected Swansea to trial this next generation of broadband technology.

“We are already working with BT to roll-out superfast broadband to homes and businesses across Wales which will help support our economy. We want to stay ahead of the competition and so it’s good to see this continued investment and innovation in the industry. Ultrafast broadband could eventually deliver even more benefits to Wales – helping drive economic growth and create jobs.”

Mike Galvin, managing director of service, strategy and operations at BT, said: “This technical trial in Swansea builds on our work in the labs and on the largest customer trials of G.fast technology in the world in Gosforth and Huntingdon*.

“We will be testing ways of delivering ultrafast speeds to flats, apartments and business units, so the people of Swansea will play an extremely important role in helping us gauge how this technology performs, and how we might deliver it to more of Wales and the UK over the coming years.

“We are also grateful to both the Welsh Government and Swansea Council, who are playing a key supportive role with the trial.

“The people of Swansea are also playing an extremely important part in helping us gauge how the technology performs, and how we might deliver ultrafast speeds to more of Wales and the UK over the coming years.”

Sir Terry Matthews, chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, added: “Events have moved at an astonishing speed since the G.fast technical trial was announced at the Swansea Bay City Region Innovation Summit in May.

“I am personally delighted at the number and range of business and residential consumers who will be able to experience the benefits of this technology. It will lay the foundations for the exploration of a fantastic range of next-generation services and applications.”