European investment will play a major role in helping deliver next-generation broadband to 96 per cent of Wales’ homes and businesses by 2016, according to its finance minister.
The combined investment in fibre broadband in Wales, including the Superfast Cymru programme and BT’s commercial roll-out is around £425m, of which £90m is from the European Regional Development Fund – as well as £220m from BT, £58m from the Welsh Government, and £57 from the UK Government.
It is the largest project of its kind in the UK and will make Wales one of the best connected countries in the world – ahead of both the USA and Japan in terms of premises passed per capita. Since work started in January 2013, more than 100,000 premises have already been given access to fast fibre broadband.
Finance minister Jane Hutt said: 'Superfast Cymru, a partnership between the Welsh Government and BT, is taking fibre broadband to parts of Wales not covered by commercial plans. It will transform the broadband landscape across our country, ensuring we are at the forefront of the global digital economy in Europe.
'European investment has been absolutely crucial in enabling us to deliver this major project, and it means that by the end of spring 2016, 96% of premises in Wales will have access fast fibre broadband.'