Ambition North Wales’ Digital Programme is targeting investment in digital connectivity within strategic priorities across the region.


The Programme contributes to wider activity being led by the public sector and private network operators to extend and upgrade both ‘fixed’ connectivity (for example fibre broadband) and wireless and mobile networks such as 4G and 5G.  As technologies continuously evolve and consumer demand changes the need for sustained investment in North Wales and across the UK will continue. The current major public sector led initiatives are listed below. 

Other programmes of investment in digital connectivity

The Shared Rural Network (SRN) is bringing mobile broadband to rural communities across the UK. Developed by the UK’s four mobile network operators and UK government, the SRN will deliver 4G coverage to 95% of the UK. The operators expect this will extend mobile coverage to an additional 280,000 premises and for people in cars on an additional 16,000km of the UK’s roads, boosting productivity and investment in rural areas.  

In Wales, the SRN will see 4G coverage from all four operators rise to a minimum of 80%, up from 60%, and coverage from at least one mobile network operator increase to 95%, allowing rural business to prosper and rural communities to thrive.  

More information regarding the SRN Programme including a timeline of the programme and forecast coverage improvements by region can be found here. In North Wales the SRN programme forecasts:  

  • 4G coverage from all mobile network operators to rise from 63% to 83%
  • 4G coverage from at least one mobile network operator to rise from 93% to 98%

Project Gigabit is the UK government’s flagship £5 billion programme to enable hard-to-reach communities to access gigabit-capable broadband delivered by Building Digital UK (BDUK) 

The programme targets homes and businesses that are not included in broadband suppliers’ plans, reaching parts of the UK that might otherwise miss out on getting the digital connectivity they need. The fast, reliable connections delivered by Project Gigabit will serve mostly rural and remote communities across the UK, as well as tackling pockets of poor connectivity in urban areas. 

Having the fastest broadband means households no longer have to struggle with poor bandwidth, people enjoy the freedom to live and work more flexibly, businesses increase their productivity, and vital public services are more accessible. 

In North Wales BDUK is preparing regional procurements to deliver gigabit capable broadband with updates published here.

UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has consulted on approaches to improving broadband services to rural and remote areas of the UK which are unlikely to benefit directly from the substantial activity across the telecoms industry to deliver gigabit-capable broadband services. This consultation closed in November 2023. Details of the consultation may be found here with the outcome of public feedback to be published following analysis. 

The Home Office is leading a cross-government programme to deliver the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) critical communications system. This will replace the current Airwave service used by the emergency services in England, Wales and Scotland, and transform how they operate. 

Supporting the Emergency Services  

ESN will enable fast, safe and secure voice, video and data across the 4G network and give first responders immediate access to life-saving data, images and information in live situations and emergencies on the frontline. 

Investment in ESN will also mean improvements to 4G network coverage, which will allow 999 calls to be made from any 4G enabled mobile phone in some of the most remote and rural parts of Great Britain where it was not previously possible. 

ESN’s critical mobile technology will mean communication between the emergency services will take priority over other network traffic, even at peak times in busy built-up locations. It will mean the emergency services and other first responders can share vital data, information and expertise quickly and securely from the frontline when it is needed most. 

The Extended Area Service (EAS) is a critical part of ESN and will ensure there is ESN coverage in some of the most rural and remote parts of Great Britain.  

For more information relating to the Emergency Services Network (ESN) and the Extended Area Service (EAS), please click here. 

Support to improve your broadband

Every home and business in the UK has the legal right to request a decent, affordable broadband connection.  

If you can’t get a download speed of at least 10Mbit/s and an upload speed of at least 1Mbit/s (this is defined by Ofcom as a ‘decent connection’), you can request an upgraded connection. You can make this request to BT and do not need to be an existing customer of BT to apply.  

For more information regarding the USO click here.

Access Broadband Cymru provides grants to fund or part-fund the equipment and installation costs of new broadband connections for individual residents, businesses and third sector organisations in Wales (the grant does not include running costs).  

The amount of funding you can receive depends on the speed of the new connection: 

  • £400 for 10Mbps and above 
  • £800 for 30Mbps and above 

Solutions to improve broadband include the use of 4G broadband and satellite broadband. 

For more information regarding the ABC Voucher Scheme, eligibility criteria and scheme conditions, please click here

Understanding coverage in your area

The Ofcom mobile and broadband checker lets you 

Ofcom, the regulator for the communications services, reports on coverage and performance of fixed broadband networks across the UK in its annual Connected Nations reports. 

For more information and to access the Connected Nations and infrastructure reports, click here. 

Ofcom provides advice to help consumers get the most from their phones and broadband, such as on cheaper broadband and phone packages (social tariffs), broadband and landline problems and scam calls and messages. 

Advice for consumers 

If your broadband speed is slowing you down, it’s never been simpler to switch to someone else who will guarantee your internet speed. You might even save money too. 

Ofcom’sBroadband Speeds Code of Practicemeans you should get clear information about speeds when you buy a broadband service. 

If your service doesn’t deliver the speeds you were promised by your provider, get in touch with them. If the problem is on their network and they can’t fix it within 30 days, they must let you leave your contract without having to pay an early exit fee. 


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