The Welsh Government is to make some of its own telecommunications ducts available for the installation of fibre broadband infrastructure.
It has awarded a concession to infrastructure service provider Net Support UK to build ducts where needed and access existing Welsh Government ducts along trunk roads, including parts of the M4, to install the fibre.
The company will be able to offer connectivity options to others on a commercial basis.
The Welsh Government said the project should boost the capacity and improve the resilience of South Wales’ fibre network.
Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters (pictured) 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.”
The project comes on the trail of the Superfast Cymru programme, which the Welsh Government claimed has given the majority of properties in the country access to superfast broadband with a public sector investment of more than 3200 million.
But it has acknowledged there are properties that have not been covered, and said it is working with Openreach to make the connectivity available another 26,000 properties across the country.
It has also been urged by the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales to make more money available for 4G and 5G infrastructure to improve superfast broadband availability.
Image from Welsh Government, Open Government Licence v3.0