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Cardiff’s Victorian arcades get superfast boost

Press Release   •   Jun 15, 2018 09:51 BST

The Castle Quarter, popular with both shoppers and tourists to the Welsh capital, has been given a superfast boost thanks to Openreach and Cardiff’s Business Improvement District (BID).

Working in partnership with FOR Cardiff, Openreach engineers have fibre enabled four new cabinets near the arcades which will make superfast broadband available to around 200 businesses in the area.

Previously businesses in the Castle Quarter were experiencing download speeds of less than 20 megabits per second. Businesses will now be able to access speeds of up to 80 megabits per second as a result of the new infrastructure -which was delivered as part of Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership programme - allowing them to work more efficiently, create new opportunities and have a stronger connection with their customers.

Stephen Afia, general manager of Shop Rugby who are based opposite Cardiff Castle, said: “We’ve been waiting for superfast broadband to be available to us for years and it’s made such a massive difference already.”

“Now we have enough bandwidth to manage our website from the property, our upload speed is 20 times faster and it’s much easier for us to move things to the cloud to back up off site. We’re absolutely delighted with the results.”

Openreach engineers have been carrying out extensive work in the area as part of deal which was jointly funded by FOR Cardiff and Openreach.

Adrian Field, Executive Director for FOR Cardiff, said: “We have committed £42,000 to this project in order to help retain existing businesses as well as attract new ones to the Castle Quarter area. The feedback from businesses who have already taken advantage has been excellent. It was a project in our 5 year business plan that we were eager to deliver quickly and we are delighted that this has gone to schedule.”

Ed Hunt, Wales and West director of next generation access for Openreach, said: “This is great news for the business community in and around the Castle Quarter and we’ve been delighted to work with such a proactive Business Improvement District as FOR Cardiff.

“Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible and the Community Fibre Partnership is just another example of how we’re working with business and communities to find fibre solutions for their areas.”

Established in November 2016, the BID area covers 130 streets across the capital city stretching from Principality Stadium to Newport Road and Butetown to Cathays. FOR Cardiff is one of the largest BID areas in the UK comprising over 1000 business properties and new superfast broadband is just one of the many priorities for businesses that the BID will address in their five-year term.

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.

Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit openreach.co.uk