OGI – Wales’s leading home-grown broadband provider – has ramped up its drive to bring ultrafast Gigabit-capable connectivity to communities across Wales. Thirty-eight of the country’s most iconic towns and villages are now set to benefit from the latest phase of Ogi’s initial £200m investment.
Extending its roll out to Bridgend, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf – Ogi will begin work in some of these areas immediately. Today’s announcement brings Ogi’s ultrafast services to a total of seven Local Authority areas, marking a gear-shift in the company’s potential reach.
Ogi launched onto the scene just over a year ago, kick-starting work on its £200 million plan to bring full fibre connectivity to traditionally underserved communities.
This latest milestone in Ogi’s growth sees the company accelerate its ambitious programme – taking coverage to 80,000 premises.
Showing no signs of slowing, staff numbers have gone from 20 to almost 140 in 18 months, with the business opening four new regional offices in Newport, Tongwynlais, Cardiff and St Clears, supporting more staff to live and work locally.
Ogi’s efforts to improve broadband access come as the Senedd’s Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee calls on the Welsh Government to do more to help rural communities access better connectivity. In fact, today’s announcement puts Ogi on course to bring fibre to a third of all premises in Pembrokeshire.
Beyond rural settings, the latest roll out sees Ogi extend its footprint to bigger, post- industrial urban areas like Bridgend, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf. And, with the company’s work injecting around £6m into places like Haverfordwest, plus an estimated economic impact worth up to five times the initial investment, today’s news will bring a welcome boost to local economies across the region.
Just 1 in 3 premises in Wales currently has access to full fibre-optic connectivity, with Britain in general lagging behind many European countries, where coverage can be as high as 90%. Ogi’s latest plan will help to close the UK’s digital divide in areas that are often labelled as ‘left behind’.
Announcing the ramp up, Ogi’s Chief Executive Officer, Ben Allwright, said: “Ogi is leading Wales’s digital revolution by bringing full fibre infrastructure to areas that really need it.
“These iconic communities are bursting with innovation and creativity – and they deserve the best connectivity to help them realise their potential. As we’re seeing in places like Pembrokeshire, only Ogi can make that access a reality. Our networks are enabling businesses to thrive, wherever they are based; helping people to work closer to where they live; and families to experience the best possible home entertainment.”
Supporting the latest announcement, Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, said: “The impact of fast, affordable broadband for homes and businesses across Wales cannot be underestimated.
“Ogi is helping to deliver that standard across south Wales, supporting Wales in its drive to become a digital nation.”
Surveying work is already underway in many of these areas with activity due to ramp up at street level over the coming weeks and months. Homes and businesses in many of these communities will be able to access Ogi’s ultrafast service from as early as this September.