Welsh broadband gets better - 100 hard-to-reach areas now have fibre

According to the Welsh government, more than 19,000 homes and businesses across Wales can now get superfast fibre optic broadband, including those in some hard-to-reach areas.

If you live in Wales, and have been waiting for fibre optic broadband to become available, here's some news that might make you say "hwre!"

The Welsh government says that 100 hard-to-reach telephone exchange areas - which means they're not currently supported by commercial providers - now have fibre optic broadband access. That means that 190,000 homes and businesses across Wales can now get much better internet.

Newly-connected areas include communities in Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caephilly, Ceredigion, Flintshire, the Vale of Glamorgan, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Swansea.

It's good news for Wales, though it's still lagging behind when it comes to superfast broadband. Research published earlier this month by telecoms regulator Ofcom found that 58% of premises in Wales had access to fibre optic broadband, compared to the UK average of 78%.

In addition, the percentage of people who had signed up to a superfast broadband package was 6% lower in Wales than in the rest of the UK.

However, the Superfast Cymru project, which is responsible for these latest roll-outs, aims to help the country catch up. The scheme - a joint venture between the Welsh government and BT - aims to deliver speeds of at least 24Mb to 96% of homes in Wales by 2016.

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