BT rolls out broadband to two Valleys towns
BT is to expand its super-fast broadband connection to more than 2,000 homes in two valleys communities.
By next year people in Pontycymmer and Blaengarw, near Bridgend, will be able to access broadband speeds of up to 40Mb/s.
It is part of the next phase of the telecoms firm's £2.5bn fibre broadband roll-out.
BT said the upgrade would revolutionise rural users' internet experience.
The service is also being expanded to cover households in Bridgend, Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Hengoed in Caerphilly county, Llantrisant and Llantwit Fardre in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
BT would not say exactly when the service will be live but said it should be working for these towns by "spring 2011".
By the end of 2011 it is expected in Caldicot in Monmouthshire, Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan Mumbles near Swansea, Pencoed in Bridgend and Hawarden in Flintshire.
The Pontycymmer exchange will be up and running by spring 2012.
Ann Beynon, BT director for Wales, said: "This latest investment in super-fast broadband is great news for many homes and businesses in Pontycymmer and Blaengarw.
"It shows our commitment to bringing super-fast broadband to a wide variety of locations across the region.
"Fibre broadband has the power to revolutionise the way we use the internet. It has huge implications for the way we live, learn and do business, with massive opportunities for entertainment, education and entrepreneurs.
"People in these communities will soon be able to experience the internet as they've never seen it before."
Most premises in Blaengarw and Pontycymmer will be able to access fibre-based broadband after the changes, the telecoms provider predicts.
However a small minority will not be able to access them "due to a combination of technical and economic reasons".
BT's local network business Openreach, which is responsible for the roll-out, said it was keen to hold discussions to try and reduce the number of those left out of the broadband loop.
It wants to meet local council representatives to see if agreement can be reached to include the small minority of premises that will not initially benefit.
Steve Robertson, chief executive of BT Openreach, said: "We want to extend the fibre footprint and the benefits the technology brings to more rural areas.
"The inclusion of 41 market towns in our roll-out plan firmly demonstrates our commitment to finding solutions for local communities.
"However, in many cases, this will require a collective effort.
"An infrastructure project on this scale - arguably as important to the future of the UK as the road or rail networks - can only be done in partnership.
"We're keen to talk to public and private sector organisations about how this can be achieved."