An innovative project which aims to improve fibre infrastructure at no extra cost to the taxpayer was announced last week by Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters.
The project, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will build and make use of Welsh Government telecommunications ducts along trunk roads in South Wales, including parts of the M4, to add new fibre infrastructure.
Net Support UK (NSUK) have been awarded a concession giving them rights to build ducts where needed and access existing Welsh Government ducts along the trunk roads to install fibre infrastructure at no cost to the public purse. They will also be able to commercialise this network meaning more connectivity options for the surrounding areas.
The project will be making use of a Welsh Government owned asset to improve the resilience of the fibre network in the area, making it more attractive to businesses. It has the potential to introduce more fibre capacity to support both local businesses and companies wanting to relocate to South Wales.
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said:
We are always looking at innovative and new ways of improving our fibre infrastructure, helping make Wales a more connected nation. One way is for government to look at its own assets and see if we are making the most of them.
This scheme is the first of its kind in the UK, and is truly innovative as the improvements to the infrastructure come at no extra cost to the taxpayer. Lessons learned from this will be used to support future projects.
Giles Phelps, Managing Director for NSUK said:
We're delighted to be working with Welsh Government on this project. Laying a fibre infrastructure is the foundation to support businesses and communities in Wales who are only going to want to use digital technologies more and who will need fibre to do so reliably.