- Openreach to provide ultrafast broadband to 800 new homes at The Mill, Canton
- One of the largest deals of its kind in Wales
Eight hundred new houses and apartments on a major new development at the 53-acre former Arjo Wiggins Paper Mill site West of Cardiff city centre will be able to get some of the fastest broadband speeds in the UK following a deal between Openreach and the developer, Lovell.
Openreach, the company responsible for the majority of the UK’s local phone and broadband network, will build fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology capable of ultrafast speeds up to 1Gbps for properties on the site at The Mill, Canton.
The agreement, one of the largest deals of its kind in Wales, is part of an Openreach initiative agreed with the UK Government and the Home Builders Federation to connect all UK new housing developments of 30 properties or more with ultrafast fibre broadband.
Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure delivery at Openreach, said: “An ultrafast broadband network will be a major boost for this new community by ensuring that people living and working there have quick access to some of the fastest speeds available.
“It reflects our commitment to ensuring that Wales and the UK has a first-class network, capable of delivering the latest communication services for households, businesses and other organisations.
“We know that people are passionate about the speed and reliability of the broadband service their communication provider can offer them and that, for some, the availability of ultrafast speeds will strongly influence their decision on which new property to buy.”
The 800 homes under construction at The Mill, Canton, include 358 homes for open market sale by Lovell and 442 homes for rent for the Tirion Group. The homes for Tirion – which will be managed by Cadwyn Housing Association – are made up of 325 properties for discounted rent, 42 homes for open market rent and 75 homes for social rent. The scheme is going ahead with the support of the Welsh Government and financial backing from the Principality Building Society, and is being developed by the Tirion Group in partnership with Lovell.
Lovell project director, Lee Woodfine, said: “Today, we all expect to enjoy a superfast, reliable broadband service at home. We’re therefore extremely pleased that the many benefits of living at The Mill will include access to some of the UK’s fastest broadband speeds.”
As part of ambitious plans to make ultrafast broadband speeds available to 12 million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 – Openreach will now build an FTTP network for free to all new housing developments with 30 or more homes. This is dependent on developers registering their site with Openreach and working together early in the building process. Openreach has promised to connect new homes within nine months of contracting with a developer.
Any developments with two or more homes will have access to the company’s existing or planned fibre infrastructure, either funded entirely by Openreach or, where necessary, with the help of co-funding from the developer.
 Construction of Fibre to the Premises infrastructure (the ducting, poles and wires) will be carried out for free on developments of more than 30 premises. Standard connection and ongoing service provider charges will apply and excess construction charges will continue to apply where the site is more than 4.5 kilometres from Openreach’s existing fibre network