Pembrokeshire County Council invests in ultrafast broadband for remote businesses

25 August 2021

Pembrokeshire is home to more than 6,000 businesses, with a particular strength in green energy production; more than 20% of the UK’s energy was produced in Pembrokeshire in 2017. And with this summer being the year of the staycation, Pembrokeshire’s many tourism businesses will also be more popular than ever.

To maximise opportunities for these businesses, and to help position Pembrokeshire as an ideal location for entrepreneurs, as well as the increasing number of work-from-anywhere employees, the local council has committed to levelling up the digital capabilities of the county’s infrastructure.

“Without a concentrated effort from Pembrokeshire County Council, businesses would simply not have been on the radar for a full fibre connection,” says Cllr. Paul Miller, the Pembrokeshire County Council cabinet member for economy, tourism, leisure and culture. “It could have been a decade or more before real digital connectivity reached rural Pembrokeshire and all the while our communities would have been falling further and further behind, businesses would be stifled by poor broadband experience. We wanted to set our ambitions much higher than that”.

Having recently acquired a landmark investment of £200m, Welsh-grown Ogi provided an obvious partner.

Full-fibre broadband
The investment from Infracapital – one of Europe’s leading infrastructure investors, together with the support of Pembrokeshire County Council, is allowing Ogi to build a full-fibre to the premise network, unlocking speeds of up to 900 Mbps for businesses in the county. Bringing real fibre right up to the front door of enterprises improves existing fibre networks which often rely on old-fashioned copper wires for the final connection to premises.

“‘The majority of broadband connections in the UK have a copper connection into the home, in fact full fibre coverage in the UK is only at 24.33% and in Wales it is only 22.69%,” adds Justin Leese, chief technology officer for Ogi. “Unfortunately a lot of internet companies call their copper based internet services “fibre broadband” when in fact the fibre only goes as far as the green cabinet at the end of the street. Ogi is building full fibre broadband connectivity to homes and businesses across south Wales, this means we run fibre all the way into the customer’s premise.”

In the Pembrokeshire town of Haverfordwest, local businesses could see their broadband speed increase by up to thirty-two times.

“Ogi is a Welsh-grown brand, and they’re committed to improving the broadband experience of communities and businesses in Wales. They understand the importance of being connected in places like Pembrokeshire, and they understand the crucial role broadband is going to play in the Welsh economy for generations to come”.

Cllr. Paul Miller, the Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture.

Working with the support of Pembrokeshire County Council, Ogi has already been able to begin engineering work on the new network, laying kilometre after kilometre of cutting-edge fibre cable.

“We’re totally committed to helping every Welsh community build back better,” says Ogi CEO, Ben Allwright. “Everyone prospers when brilliant broadband delivers real opportunities, resilience and sustainability, and we have big ambitions to see Pembrokeshire enterprises flourish.”