Contract 3

During Contract 3, we will continue to build on the success achieved in Contracts 1 and 2 by further extending the fibre network to areas of our region not covered by commercial supplier’s roll-out plans.

CSW estimates that a further 15000 properties across the region will be able to connect to the fibre network with access to superfast (30Mbps) broadband by the end of December 2023 when Contract 3 is due to be completed.

Our Rolling 12-month Plan webpage has more information on the Contract 3 structures which are currently in build and the areas that they will serve.

Contract 3 is financed through funding that was made available by Central Government, Openreach, Local Authorities and also by a capital investment of £2.0 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

ERDF funding

As well as helping to bring the benefits of fibre broadband to households in the relevant areas, the business element of the ERDF funding will ensure that at least 400 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are provided with access to superfast (30Mbps) broadband which they would not otherwise have had.

Providing these businesses with the opportunity to take advantage of a superfast broadband connection will give them the potential to:

  • Compete more equally with other businesses in the increasingly competitive global marketplace.
  • Improve productivity
  • Safeguard and potentially increase employment in their area which will also benefit the wider local economy.

In addition, the ERDF funding will help support our work with the CWLEP and Chamber of Commerce, to:

  • Raise awareness amongst eligible businesses of the availability of superfast broadband connections
  • Offset the cost of taking up faster connections by offering connection vouchers to eligible businesses
  • Provide specialist ICT business support so that eligible businesses can take advantage of the new infrastructure and effectively utilise digital technologies in their operations

More widely, it is also hoped that the region as a whole will benefit to some extent environmentally from the carbon savings associated with better broadband such as the reduced levels of commuting and business travel due to an increase in home working.