Welsh community builds FTTP 1Gb broadband network to leave 4Mb speeds behind

Welsh community builds FTTP 1Gb broadband network to leave 4Mb speeds behind

Welsh community builds FTTP 1Gb broadband network to leave 4Mb speeds behind

The village of Michaelston-y-Fedw has become the first community in Wales to create their own fibre network, uplifting the community from average internet speeds of 4Mbps into the modern era with 1Gb fibre connections. 

Michaelston-y-Fedw is a mere 10 miles away from Cardiff and lies on the outskirts of Newport, though sadly this area of the country has remained largely forgotten by major internet service providers, leaving villages 300 citizens stuck in the past with almost unusable internet speeds. 

The community decided that enough was enough, starting a Community Interest Company (CIC) to deliver the infrastructure required to bring their village into the 21st century. The company quickly raised £150,000 by selling shares to local so, who had grown frustrated at the communities lack of high-speed internet.    

The CIC, which is known as the Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC, quickly applied for every grant that they could get their hands on, including those from the Welsh Government and Access Broadband Cymru, which offers vouchers to homes and areas that are not covered by BT’s Superfast Cymru project. 

Thanks to these funds, the Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC plans to bring their Gb service to over 175 local premises sometime this Autumn, connecting each property free of charge while also offering their first year of service for free for early adopters. After this initial rollout period, residents will be charged £30 per month to access the network, which is exceptionally cheap for 1Gbps services. 

Below is a comment from David Schofield, the Director of the Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet CIC, as provided to ISP Review. 

 

     Ultrafast internet is now a reality in Michaelston y Fedw. This has been achieved through a huge amount of effort by local volunteers who have turned out in all weathers to help build our network. Without them, the support of landowners, the village hall, local investors and the Welsh Government grant schemes this would never have got off the ground. We now have internet speeds that are world class, and this makes all the effort worthwhile

 

Below is a video which showcases the laying of Fibre cables when connecting Druidstone House to the network. 

 

With an average internet connection speed of 4Mbps, residents of Michaelston-y-Fedw were unable to take full advantage of one of the 21st centuries’ most useful commodities. Online gaming was impossible, services like Netflix were unusable, and debit card machines ceased functioning when the network was being overtaxed. Now, things have changed entirely. 

The move to a community made fibre service has been transformative for those who are already connected to the service and will continue to change the lives of more residents moving forward. Today, Michaelston-y-Fedw is now one of the UK’s internet success stories, quickly transforming from one of Wales’ slowest regions to one of their fastest. 

You can join the discussion on the Welsh community that built their own FTTP 1Gb broadband network on the OC3D Forums.