Telcom Picked for Phase 2 of New Cardiff Full Fibre Network Build

The Cardiff Council (Gyngor Caerdydd) in South Wales has once again chosen UK broadband operator Telcom Group (WeFibre, HyperCity etc.) to supply residents and businesses in poorly served parts of the city with “hyperfast gigabit connectivity“, which forms Phase 2 of an earlier Phase 1 roll-out.

At present the vast majority of Cardiff and surrounding areas are already covered by gigabit-capable broadband networks, mostly via Hybrid Fibre Coax (Virgin Media) solutions and Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) infrastructure from the likes of Openreach, Hyperoptic, Ogi, FibreNest (Persimmon Homes) and the community orientated Michaelston-y-Fedw CIC project.

NOTE: Cardiff Council are committed to ensuring that their citizens do not become a digital tale of two cities and that 100% coverage of “full fibre” connectivity is available across the city by 2025.

However, there are still patches of the area that lack any commercial upgrade plans for gigabit broadband and suffer from sub-30Mbps broadband speeds, which is what the local authority has been trying to improve – using a £7.7m funding boost from the Welsh Government that was first awarded in 2022 (here), via the Local Broadband Fund (i.e. providing full fibre broadband to 1,219 homes and other sites).

Last year we reported that Telcom had won a contract to deliver the first phase of this network roll-out (here), which was originally due to complete in January 2024 (here) but actually ended up finishing a little later in March 2024. Phase 1 is understood to have delivered the new fibre connectivity to 79 sites, both residential and commercial.

The news today sees the Telcom Group confirm that they’ve also been contracted to deliver Phase 2 of this project, which isn’t too surprising as the council did all but confirm this back in November 2023. As before, the council’s approach is that premises identified as high on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) should be the first to be addressed.

Chris Baldock, Executive Chairman at Telcom Group, said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this network for Cardiff. Telcom has extensive experience delivering on the promise of fast and reliable full fibre internet infrastructure across the UK’s major cities. We believe that access to fast and reliable internet is a fundamental human right, and that bringing full fibre internet to Cardiff will both empower the city’s economy and enrich the lives of its residents.”

Cllr Chris Weaver, Cabinet Member at Cardiff Council, said:

“This project will deliver high quality fibre broadband to some of the most deprived communities in Cardiff and I am pleased that the second phase of the project is now underway and will be complete by March 2025.

Along with the significant improvements to broadband infrastructure that wouldn’t have been provided by commercial operators, Telecom is also offering a Social Value Tariff. It is vital that projects such as this offer social value to our communities, and in this case, significant benefits to these areas of the city, so that residents and businesses can access fast reliable full fibre broadband.”

Once again there’s a distinct lack of detail around what Phase 2 will actually deliver (we also checked the council’s website and found precious little info.), although it is noted that the second phase is “planned for delivery throughout 2024/2025” (i.e. completion by the end of 2025).

Along with the improvements to broadband infrastructure, Telcom is also offering a Social Value Tariff, as well as local employment and training facilities through their Telcom Engineering Bootcamp.

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