HOUSEHOLDS and businesses in Swansea are among the first in the UK to experience ultrafast broadband with a trial of cuttingedge BT technology. The new ‘G.fast’ technology, which is being pioneered by BT’s world famous research and development team, has already been shown to deliver download speeds up to 330 megabits per second (Mbps) – more than ten times the current UK average. The new technical trial in Swansea focuses on how G.fast can be used to serve multiple dwelling units, such as apartment blocks and business centres, both of which present unique challenges. Around 100 homes and businesses in the Swansea SA1 Waterfront and Maritime Quarter will benefit from the free technical trial for approximately 6 months.
The trial is testing the technology, including speeds and customer experiences. G.fast changes the way today’s broadband is transmitted, delivering ultrafast speeds that currently require fibre to be run all the way to the premises (FTTP). This is significant as it will enable Openreach, BT’s local network business, to make ultrafast broadband available to a much larger number of homes and businesses, and in a shorter time. If trials like the one in Swansea prove successful – and if UK regulation continues to encourage investment – Openreach aims to start deploying G.fast in 2016/17 alongside its fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-tothe- premises services. The company believes that G.fast will enable it to make speeds of a few hundred megabits per second available to millions of homes by 2020 and deliver up to 500Mbps to most of the UK within a decade as the technology is developed further.
Welcoming today’s announcement, Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Julie James, said: “Wales is already leading the way in terms of superfast broadband coverage and we welcome the fact that BT has selected Swansea to trial this next generation of broadband technology. “We are already working with BT to roll-out superfast broadband to homes and businesses across Wales which will help support our economy. We want to stay ahead of the competition and so it’s good to see this continued investment and innovation in the industry.
Ultrafast broadband could eventually deliver even more benefits to Wales – helping drive economic growth and create jobs.” Sir Terry Matthews, chairman of the Swansea Bay City Region Board, added: “Events have moved at an astonishing speed since the G.fast technical trial was announced at the Swansea Bay City Region Innovation Summit in May. “I am personally delighted at the number and range of business and residential consumers who will be able to experience the benefits of this technology. It will lay the foundations for the exploration of a fantastic range of next-generation services and applications.” Among the first companies to take part in the trial are Technium 2 based, S8080: one of Wales’s largest website design agencies.
Peter Ward, Network Administrator of the agency, which specialises in large public sector projects, said: “We’re a company that rely heavily on fast, reliable connectivity to the internet in order to both upload and download large files to our clients.” “Our first impression of G.fast is that it’s a technology that does exactly this and is much quicker than what we’ve used in the past. It’s great news for Swansea that G.fast is being trialled here and I’d encourage other businesses in the area to take advantage of the opportunity to test this cutting-edge technology.” Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s cabinet m ember for enterprise, development and regeneration, said: “It’s hugely encouraging that this technical trial is taking place in Swansea. “It shows confidence in Swansea’s ambition to be a leading city of innovation and business that’s at the forefront of new technology.
“The technical trial will be a huge boost for residents and businesses that are participating and as it is rolled out in Swansea in future, this technology will help transform local businesses, improve the local economy and attract new investment and jobs.” Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure at Openreach, said: “The technical trial at Swansea underpins a number of commitments which we have made as a business around coverage and speed. “We continue to invest in network innovation, bringing this fantastic technology to serve complex multidwelling units and business premises. “The G.fast technology trial will help us in supporting the Government’s ambition of going beyond the UK’s 95 per cent target for fibre broadband whilst providing the speed which our customers want.”
Mike Galvin, who has been leading the technical trials of G.fast as BT’s managing director of service, strategy and operations, said: “This technical trial in Swansea builds on our work in the labs and on the largest customer trials of G.fast technology in the world in Gosforth and Huntingdon*. “We will be testing ways of delivering ultrafast speeds to flats, apartments and business units, so the people of Swansea will play an extremely important role in helping us gauge how this technology performs, and how we might deliver it to more of Wales and the UK over the coming years. “We are also grateful to both the Welsh Government and Swansea Council, who are playing a key supportive role with the trial. “The people of Swansea are also playing an extremely important part in helping us gauge how the technology performs, and how we might deliver ultrafast speeds to more of Wales and the UK over the coming years.”
The speeds provided by this technology enables customers to stream live ultra-high-definition 4K video content to multiple devices at once, whilst simultaneously browsing the web, uploading videos and photos, or playing online games. Residents and businesses in the Swansea Waterfront Prince of Wales Dock area on Kings Road and the Maritime Quarter area on Trawler Road wanting to take part in this technical trial should contact firstname.lastname@example.org BT has pioneered research into G.fast technology since 2007 and been heavily involved in driving the creation of global industry standards in that time. The G.fast trial in Swansea builds on the existing investment BT has made in fibre infrastructure in the city. Approximately 95 per cent of the Swansea local authority area already has access to fibre when both BT’s commercial and Superfast Cymru’s roll out are combined.
£121k watersports funding announced for Llanelli beauty spot
• Welsh Water, Natural Resources Wales, Llanelli Rural Council & Canoe Wales has secured ‘Access to Water’ funding.
• Visitors will be able to enjoy paddlesports (canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding), windsurfing and angling.
• Site expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year.
The recent announcement of the development of the Swiss Valley reservoirs in Carmarthenshire has been given a boost with the confirmation of an ‘Access to Water’ grant from Welsh Government, worth £121k, that will enable visitor access to the Lower Lleidi reservoir for paddle sports and angling.
The funding will realise plans to bring back a range of paddlesports to the reservoir, including stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing and kayaking. It will also enable bank angling through the creation of recreational zones. A range of improvements to the surrounding infrastructure are also planned to include a boat wash for biosecurity and the creation of paths and a pontoon that allows easy access to water for people of all abilities, and the refurbishment of toilet facilities.
Developing the Swiss Valley Reservoirs is expected to attract 90k+ visitors a year to the site, in line with Covid19 regulations. The ‘Access to Water’ funding is an important milestone in achieving shared ambitions for the site, and to support the funding application, a survey of local canoe clubs, outdoor activity providers and anglers was conducted which found a strong demand for access to the water for their activities. The feedback was that this is likely to generate a huge amount of interest from clubs and providers given it’s ideal geographical location. The community adoption scheme means that local people are offering to invest their own time to help look after this jewel of a community asset, and care for it into the future.
The project is well placed to support the delivery of The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015, which requires public bodies in Wales to think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change. Whilst Welsh Water is not a public body, it is committed to working in partnership with Llanelli Rural Council, Natural Resources Wales and Canoe Wales in the spirit of the legislation.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “This is an excellent example of a scheme which increases opportunities for outdoor recreation and provides safe access to water for people of all abilities. The development of these reservoirs will enable local people and visitors to gain more enjoyment from this beauty spot in line with covid19 guidelines and help to support a green recovery in Wales. I hope the success of this project will encourage development of many more similar opportunities over the coming years.”
Welsh Water Chief Executive Peter Perry said, “Access to blue space is proven to be positively associated with health and wellbeing. Swiss Valley is an important asset for the local community and visitors alike. This funding is a major milestone in our efforts to bring this cherished community asset back to its former glory and make it more accessible, for the health and wellbeing of everyone.”
Jen Browning, Chief Executive of Canoe Wales, the national governing body for paddlesport in Wales, added, “Over the past eight months, we have seen an unprecedented amount of demand for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, but the limited number of venues in Wales suitable for new paddlers has always been a major obstacle. This funding will ensure that Swiss Valley can play an enormously important role in making it possible for people of all abilities to enjoy the water, and for many to discover a passion for paddlesport and develop a deep connection with the outdoors.”
Dave MacCallum, Specialist Advisor for Water Access & Recreation at Natural Resources Wales and Chairman of NAFW Access to Water Sub-Group said: “We are delighted to have been a part of this important collaboration which will open up these new waters for responsible, inclusive recreation in South West Wales. NRW is committed to doing all we can to enable more people to enjoy Wales’ countryside more easily and responsibly – to take advantage of the many health and wellbeing benefits that getting outside can bring. Benefitting from bespoke disabled paddle-sport access facilities and a Biosecurity station promoting and enabling the Check Clean Dry initiative, the Swiss Valley reservoir project paves the way for future access to Welsh still waters so that current and future generations can continue to enjoy their visits to some of Wales’ most spectacular landscapes”
Llanelli Rural Council Leader, Cllr Tegwen Devichand said “the funding is marvellous news for the community and will enable the council to develop its plans for the reservoir in earnest. Much of the preliminary work associated with the first phase of infrastructure improvements can now get underway, in fact some work has commenced already. The physical adaptations to refurbish the toilet block, visitor car park and access to the water to facilitate paddle sports and the angling fraternity is scheduled to be completed by March 2021, but work won’t stop there. Moreover, the community response to our plans for the reservoir has been overwhelming; the council has received a great deal of local and regional support and a number of interest groups and individuals have come forward to help us deliver our plans as well as to offer their services. This is greatly appreciated and bodes well for the future.”
Llanelli Yodel colleague celebrates 30-year anniversary
Beverley Smith, a valued member of the Llanelli depot’s team, is celebrating her 30-year anniversary with UK independent parcel carrier, Yodel.
Beverley joined Yodel in 1990, when it was originally known as Home Shopping Network, as an Inbound Sorter and then moved onto a Customer Service Support role over 28 years ago. Beverly supports the Llanelli Management Team, provides customer service to clients and customers alike and is always on hand to answer any driver queries.
To celebrate her anniversary, Kay Dodd, Service Centre Manager, presented Beverley with £750 of Very vouchers and ordered in a cooked breakfast to celebrate.
Customer Service Support Advisor, Beverley Smith commented: “My time with Yodel has been very fulfilling – constantly challenging – keeping me on my toes. I’ve been with the company so long that I remember having to write with a pen and paper and have to fax documents to the head office daily – I can’t say I miss those days!
“I have made many close friends during the 30 years at the business and I truly have enjoyed the hard working and happy atmosphere at Llanelli every day.”
Kay Dodd, Depot Manager, added: “Bev is a valued member of my team here at Llanelli, she provides excellent customer service to customers, clients and colleagues. She has a courteous and caring attitude and goes beyond her duties to ensure everyone has a positive experience at Yodel Llanelli. Thank you for everything Bev!”
To join Beverley and the team at Yodel’s Llanelli depot, or to find out more about working for Yodel, and the roles and training available, visit www.yodelopportunities.co.uk or text ‘Deliver’ to 84433.
Preparatory works to start at key Stepney Street Building
Preparatory works are due to start on a key building in Llanelli Town Centre ahead of formal planning approval.
Number 49 Stepney Street is being redeveloped as part of a significant investment in the town centre to transform, regenerate and connect its key retails and leisure areas.
Carmarthenshire County Council has submitted plans which could see the former YMCA building retain much of its character whilst providing high quality living space and commercial units
The works would include the restoration of the front façade of the building, along with the retention of the perimeter wall, main internal structural walls and bringing back many original features such as the ornate staircase.
Subject to planning approval the rest of the building would be redeveloped to include two floors of commercial space on the ground and first floors, with eight two-bedroomed living spaces on the upper floors.
There will also be residents parking spaces on the ground floor.
The works currently underway will prepare the building for redevelopment and include stripping and clearance of old materials.
Carmarthenshire County Council leader Cllr Emlyn Dole said: “Many generations of people from Llanelli will have special memories of using this fantastic building over the years and it is such a shame to see it lay empty and falling into disrepair – we’re proud to be leading on this scheme to breathe new life into it once again.”
The council has already spent £4.5million buying empty shop units from private ownership, renovating and bringing them back in to use at affordable rental levels – all of them currently occupied by independent businesses
A Local Development Order has been put in place to simplify the planning process for property owners and potential investors
This project is being procured via the South West Wales Regional Contractors Framework. Carmarthenshire County Council has appointed a regional contractor who will develop the project alongside local supply chains.
For further information on this framework, email TSSWWRCF@carmarthenshire.gov.uk
News2 weeks ago
£121k watersports funding announced for Llanelli beauty spot
Uncategorised2 weeks ago
Six men arrested for kidnap in Llanelli
Farming1 week ago
Eustice turns in a useless performance
Education1 week ago
Welsh charities shortlisted for educational awards
Uncategorised1 week ago
Self Assessment customers warned about scammers posing as HMRC
Uncategorised1 week ago
BHF Cymru calls for stock donations before Christmas
Farming1 week ago
Farmers should prepare for IHT changes
Politics1 week ago
WG settles ‘scandalous’ land sale case