Member News – Ogi -High-Capacity Gateway Into Wales Opens for Business

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Just six months after announcing plans for a new high-capacity digital route into south Wales and Ogi – the country’s leading alternative telco – has now opened the network for business.

Through a 25-year agreement with the Welsh Government the full fibre investor has built a network of dark fibre and microducts, creating a new diverse route along the southeast section of the M4 corridor.

Mapping the public-owned trunk road network, the new 70km route offers a mix of wholesale products, boosting capacity and resilience for the likes of carriers, hyper-scalers, datacentres and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) looking to expand in and beyond the region.

High-capacity fibre pairs and microducts have been installed over the Prince of Wales bridge, from where they pass through Vantage Data Centre on the edge of Newport and on to the Stadium House internet exchange in the centre of Cardiff. The new products offer an alternative means to scale networks across south Wales – considered one of the fastest growing digital economies outside London – with capacity to grow and extend across south Wales and onto Ireland as demand increases.

It’s been a huge feat of civil engineering for the network builder, with engineers utilising, amongst other solutions, the latest micro-trenching technology, rapidly cutting enough space for the ducts – making road surface reinstatement much faster and less carbon intensive than traditional methods. This technology has in turn minimised disruption to traffic on one of the busiest stretches of the motorway network and led to a faster delivery time for key parts of the project.

Ogi was propelled onto the UK infrastructure scene in 2021, kick-starting work on a £200 million first phase plan to bring full fibre residential products and services to traditionally underserved communities in south Wales. This latest milestone in Ogi’s growth sees the company accelerate its ambitious programme into wholesale markets for the first time – investing in the potential to serve high-capacity demand across the region.

Opening the network for business, Chief Executive Officer, Ben Allwright, said: “This is a landmark moment for Ogi – and for Wales. With established data centres – like Newport’s Vantage Data Centre – and increasing interest from data-led sectors like fintech and remote broadcasting looking to scale in Wales, now’s the time to bring this diversity and high-capacity resilience into south Wales.

“With our data consumption set to double every two years, there’s an increasing need for more data capacity and, ultimately, a resilient network that can carry it all. This unique contract between Ogi and the Welsh Government is the very bedrock of Wales’s digital revolution; a high-capacity route capable of moving data fast and reliably, side-by-side with bringing highly skilled jobs and greater prosperity to Wales.”

Commenting on the networks potential, Chief Technology and Operations Officer, Justin Leese, said: “With billions being invested in new data centres around the world, the need for high-capacity connectivity and increasing resilience regionally – along with the expert support that goes with it – is pivotal if Wales is going to attract tomorrow’s tech leaders, today.”

“The big data age is here; with technology like AI forging ahead a need for more space and network capacity. This new network puts Wales on the map as a place to do business confidently, boosting the opportunities for a sector that’s already worth over £8.5billion to the Welsh economy.”

An increasingly popular country for the UK film, TV, music, gaming, fintech industries and datacentres, interest in Wales continues to grow at pace.

Managing Director of broadcast production company Whisper Cymru, Carys Owens, added: “This is great news for Wales and for thriving industries like the broadcast and creative sectors. As we continue to push boundaries in high-quality content production here in Wales, the need for high-capacity, reliable connectivity – and diversity of networks – is fundamental.

“There used to be a perception that you have to leave south Wales to work on major projects in the creative industries, but our work shows that’s not the case. This news isn’t just about connectivity – it opens up the potential to bring more investment, more skills and more opportunities to the country. It’s a huge leap forward for industries like the creative sector and tech – and will really give us a competitive edge.”

New products including lit services are already in the pipeline, adding to Ogi’s growing wholesale offer. Future phases of the scheme could see high-capacity infrastructure reaching other parts of Wales – where Ogi is already rolling out domestic services – boosting local, Welsh and the UK economies.

For more information on Ogi visit their website.