By Max Clarke

MORE than £1m is being invested in cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure to make FibreSpeed available for people and businesses in rural communities across North Wales.

Specialist companies are using the latest wireless technologies to bring affordable high-speed Internet and communications within reach of thousands of smaller businesses and home users in areas that so far have been denied this vital service.

The investments come as the Welsh Assembly Government launches its Digital Wales programme, which seeks to position Wales as a world leader in the delivery of digital technologies that make life better for everyone.

Already, FibreSpeed and its service providers are ensuring that North Wales has a head start in achieving this vision and that it continues to lead from the front.
AB Internet and exwavia are joining Carrier Wales in offering a range of new and innovative wireless services, using the FibreSpeed network as a springboard to reach deep into rural Wales.

Powerful and reliable connections, promising actual download speeds from 2 Mb to 20 Mb and beyond in addition to much improved upload speeds will provide a real benefit to users.

The additional bandwidth has the capability to provide an Internet telephone service — removing the need for telephone wires and line rental altogether.

Services are being offered at prices comparable to existing broadband products, and will be available in existing broadband “not spot” locations.

FibreSpeed General Manager Graham Leach said: “Digital Wales seeks to create an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous society by empowering all citizens to be able to take advantage of digital technologies that enhance their quality of life.
“Thanks to the foresight of the Welsh Assembly Government and the support from its partners and service providers, the FibreSpeed project has taken North Wales one significant step closer to achieving these goals.

“Through its Service Providers, FibreSpeed already offers greater choice, better services and lower, competitive pricing for next generation Internet and telecommunications access — modern technology so intrinsic to our work and lifestyles.”
FibreSpeed Sales Manager David Ferguson added: “The wireless Service Providers will bridge the digital divide between urban and rural communities, with FibreSpeed acting as both catalyst and facilitator.

“As well as offering high bandwidth capacity to larger users, these ISPs have devised a range of products and services aimed at users with lesser demands — all much improved on “fast broadband”, yet at comparable prices.”

Wireless connections play a strong role in extending FibreSpeed’s reach well beyond the existing network route and into homes, businesses and communities right across the region.

In addition to rural services, wireless operators bring a range of extremely high capacity connectivity services, enabling Welsh companies to compete on equal terms with their competitors in bigger cities.