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Wyddfa summit to become highest point with full fire broadband as cable laid along train route

08 Dec 2022 4 minute read
Yr Wyddfa. The image is released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0.

Engineers have started work to bring ultrafast fibre broadband along the train route to the summit of Yr Wyddfa in time for next year’s summer season.

The mammoth engineering task will involve running the 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) capable infrastructure from the nearest exchange in Llanberis all the way to the summit of Wales’ highest mountain.

Openreach engineers will be working closely with the Snowdon Mountain Railway to run seven kilometres of fibre cable along the railway that carries nearly 150,000 passengers to the top of the popular tourist destination every year.

Once completed the mountain standing at 1,085 metres will be the highest point in the UK with Full Fibre connectivity. The Snowdon Summit Café, which has remained closed since 2019 as a result of the Covid lockdown, will benefit from the improved connectivity as visitors will be able to pay for goods using contactless.

Among those local residents that have already benefited from this work are the Morris family that live in the highest house in Wales – nearly halfway up Yr Wyddfa. With little to no connectivity before ultrafast broadband was delivered by Openreach, the technology has been an early Christmas gift game-changer for the family.

Eira Morris, said: “We live off-grid and have never had a telephone landline.

“For 20 years we have had to stand at a window to answer mobile phone calls. Living in the heart of the National Park putting up telegraph poles for a landline was never an option, regulations here did not allow it.

“Having the fastest fibre optic broadband is some kind of miracle. Thanks to Openreach, the engineering team and staff members working in very challenging conditions to get it to Yr Wyddfa. We are extremely grateful for this”

‘Huge task’

It’s also hoped that the improved connectivity will play a vital role in assisting search and rescue teams that are frequently called upon to find lost or injured walkers on Yr Wyddfa.

Every year more than 600,000 walkers make their way to the top of Yr Wyddfa and traditionally search and rescue teams have to rely on radio signal to communicate with one another on the mountain when searching for those that need help.

This method of radio communication can be impacted by heavy fog. When the Full Fibre infrastructure is in place on the top of the Wyddfa it’s hoped that a small 5G point will be installed that will significantly improve how search and rescue teams can communicate in the future.

The new ultrafast and reliable broadband connection will also mean that search and rescue teams will be able to access vital real-time data, such as accurate localised weather forecasts, which could help save valuable time in a rescue operation, and potentially lives.

Suzanne Rutherford, Chief Engineer for Wales, said: “To say that bringing Full Fibre to the top of the Wyddfa is a huge task is an understatement.

“You just have to look at the sheer scale of Yr Wyddfa to appreciate how big a job this is for our engineers and that’s before you even take into consideration weather conditions.

“We’re all extremely proud at Openreach of the work we’re doing to not only bring Full Fibre to what will be the highest point across all of the UK but also the improved connectivity that it will bring for visitors to the summit, families that live under the shadow of Yr Wyddfa and of course how our technology could potentially save lives.”

‘Improved’

Marty Druce, Railway Operations Manager at Snowdon Mountain Railway, said: “Full fibre broadband to the summit will be extremely beneficial for us as a business and will greatly improve communications from Llanberis to Hafod Eryri on the summit of Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa.

“It will be hugely beneficial to the local community, visitors and rescue services, with improved connectivity on the mountain.

“Our operations team here at Snowdon Mountain Railway are more than happy to assist in the logistical transportation for the Local Openreach engineers, fibre and equipment along the route of Snowdon.”


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Cynan again
Cynan again
1 month ago

I know why they are doing this, but I still see it as an affront. Me? I would demolish the cafe, dig up the railway and take away the steps. Return it to its natural state. Then people would be less likely to go meandering up on a whim. Fewer of the flips flops and shorts brigade with no maps. Take away the safety net of “well I can always have a Costa at the top and take the train down if it gets a bit nippy”

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan again

I agree!

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Okay….that just leaves the question “Why?” …as in why the f*** is this even needed?… … I tell you what, why don’t they put games arcade and a selfie booth and a madame Tussauds and a candy floss machine up there as well? ….and whilst we are at it, why not build a road on it too? That way people too damn lazy and stupid to do anything more than fill their faces with poisonous food, binge-watch crud on television whilst caressing their phones like a masturbating chimp can go up there and take a picture of them,selves pulling an… Read more »

JAD
JAD
1 month ago

I love the typo in the heading. ‘Full fire broadband’. It kind of crystallises exactly what needs to be done to this idea… burn it. Is this really being installed for the search and rescue team? I doubt that somehow.

Eifion
1 month ago

Ia ceffyl da ydi ewyllys

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago

“The mammoth engineering task…”. 😳🙄. Laying a cable long-side a railway track? Good grief. What a ridiculous statement.

“ visitors will be able to pay for goods using contactless.”. So even more litter.

Overall, a most feeble set of excuses for the project.

Who employees these w€%#$.

Last edited 1 month ago by Argol fawr!
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

The family in highest home in Wales gets (best) broadband service for first time…

Is there such a thing as mountain envy as well as silver linings…

Psalm 68:16 “we gaze in envy, you rugged mountain, at Mount Zion, where God has chosen to live “…

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion

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