09/05/2014

Xwavia secures seven-figure investment from Finance Wales

A mid Wales-based broadband provider has secured a £1.2 million investment from Finance Wales to deliver superfast broadband to areas in Wales suffering as a result of poor broadband connectivity.

Xwavia, which has recently rebranded from eXwavia, is a company dedicated to providing superfast broadband to residents and businesses in Wales. It has secured funding to grow the capacity, speed and reach of its network harnessing microwave, fibre-optic, wireless and copper broadband technologies.

The investment will see an expansion of Xwavia’s headquarters in Welshpool, creating several new positions, and improvements to the infrastructure, expanding capacity and increasing broadband speeds for individuals and businesses.

Alongside this, the broadband provider will also launch the first phase its new network in Conwy, north Wales. This will provide affordable access to superfast broadband in the area and create a number of jobs at its new site in Riverside Business Park.  

As Conwy is one of the last areas in Wales scheduled to receive superfast broadband under the UK Government-funded Superfast Cymru project, Xwavia is rolling out its new network in the area to provide much-needed services to communities and businesses. Access to this superfast network will support the growth of local businesses, enhancing their competitiveness and growing the Welsh economy.  

In partnership with the Welsh Government’s Access Broadband Cymru (ABC) Scheme, this will allow families and businesses in Conwy to access superfast broadband – typically at speeds between 10 and 100 mega-bits per second (mbps) - at an affordable rate for the first time.

The ABC scheme, which provides up to £1,000 of grants towards the installation of a high-speed line, is available to individuals and businesses that meet certain criteria, which includes having a consistent download speed of less than 2 mega-bits per second.

Xwavia, established in 2009, is launching these new services as part of its ambitious three-year growth plan which, accelerated by this investment, seeks to build a pan-Wales superfast broadband network, available to communities and businesses alike.

According to the most recent OFCOM: Communications Market Report, only 41% of premises in Wales had access to fibre-optic – or fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband as it is officially known - the second-lowest proportion across the UK.

With access to superfast broadband, families can download a whole album in around 30 seconds and a feature length HD movie around 10 minutes, as well as other activities such as streaming TV programmes and playing games.

Superfast speeds can also help small to medium enterprises (SME) to grow and save valuable time by increasing productivity. With faster speeds, businesses can upload large files such as complex graphics and videos, save travel expenses with seamless video conferencing and gain access to the latest and best business software through ‘cloud computing’ services.

Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Xwavia, said:

“We are delighted to secure this investment from Finance Wales, which will allow us to increase the speed and reach of our network. Over the next three years, we will use this additional capital to extend our network across Wales to provide much-needed access to superfast broadband.

“Currently, many residents and business owners do not have access high speed broadband and this is negatively effecting the Welsh economy. We are therefore extending our service to ensure that individuals and businesses are provided with access to the high-quality broadband services they need and deserve.

“Superfast broadband is a necessity which allows businesses to compete more effectively. It provides an opportunity to improve financial management, marketing efforts, human resources and customer relationships, and the extension of our network will make this possible for more businesses in Wales than ever before.”

Jerry Mobbs, Deputy Portfolio Manager at Finance Wales, said:

“Xwavia has made some impressive achievements since it was established and now has even more ambitious plans to increase the availability of superfast broadband throughout Wales.  This could play a significant role in building the Welsh economy in future, opening up a wealth of new local and global opportunities for both citizens and businesses. Welsh businesses have the potential to improve their competitiveness, access new markets and suppliers, for instance.  

“Xwavia’s new management team has the vision and experience to implement these plans, further strengthening its market position and our investment will also enable them to recruit more staff to underpin their expansion.”