This year’s Pembrokeshire County Show, which starts tomorrow (Tuesday), will benefit from fast fibre broadband thanks to the Superfast Cymru programme, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Ken Skates AM has said.
Haverfordwest company Dragon WiFi are connecting the popular three-day agricultural show with superfast speeds allowing exhibitors and visitors to access online information faster at free WiFi hotspots on the showground.
The cabinet being used to provide the show with fast fibre broadband is based within Withybush Trading Estate, which is part of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone.
Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone chairman Lord Nick Bourne took the opportunity to see the cabinet being used and hear how accessing superfast broadband is benefiting the area.
As key economic areas for Wales, Enterprise Zones have been prioritised in the roll-out of superfast broadband through the Superfast Cymru programme.
A number of businesses based within the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone can already take advantage of being able to access fast fibre broadband.
Superfast Cymru aims to achieve, when combined with commercial roll-outs, the Welsh Government’s aim of providing 96 per cent of premises in Wales with access to fast fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2016.
Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report, published this week, has also credited the Superfast Cymru programme for driving superfast broadband coverage in Wales.
£205m of funding has been provided by Welsh Government, the UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund, with BT contributing a further £220m to deliver fibre across Wales via its commercial roll out and the Superfast Cymru programme.
It was announced on Friday that more than 1 million UK homes and businesses now have access to superfast broadband as a result of the publicly funded UK wide rollout. Up to 40,000 premises are now gaining access every week throughout the UK.
Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates AM said: “It’s very pleasing to hear how local company Dragon WiFi is using Superfast Cymru to provide the Pembrokeshire Show with faster speeds which will benefit exhibitors and visitors.
“Businesses within Withybush Trading Estate which is part of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone can already access fast fibre broadband which can help them to grow, work more efficiently, transform the way they can communicate and help drive the economy.
“We are committed to making Wales a truly digital nation and the Superfast Cymru programme has a vital role in realising that vision.
“Superfast Cymru is a very ambitious programme to provide fast fibre broadband to areas which otherwise would not benefit meaning businesses, including the farming industry, can take full advantage of being able to access the resource.”
Ed Hunt, programme director for Superfast Cymru, said: “BT is committed to rolling out our fibre network to as many people as possible as quickly as we can.
“The broadband landscape of Pembrokeshire is transforming thanks to Superfast Cymru, with many more communities benefitting over the coming months. We’re proud to be partnering with the Welsh Government on this critical infrastructure project.
“Our rollout is a complex civil engineering feat. To make it happen, we need to work closely with the Pembrokeshire Local Authority and I’m pleased that they’re supporting us wholeheartedly, for which we’re very grateful.”
Lord Bourne, chairman of the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone, said: “Welsh Enterprise Zones were designated as priority areas for the delivery of superfast broadband and I’m pleased that the benefits of this commitment are now being delivered.
“This is very good news for Pembrokeshire and for businesses in general as it provides a platform for new opportunities and will undoubtedly enhance efficiencies in such a competitive market place.
“As chair of the Haven Waterway Zone I am in regular contact with the business community and I know that the roll-out of fast fibre broadband has been eagerly awaited and this will be a major boost to the area.”