A GWENT village can now say it has the fastest internet in Wales after the community installed its own broadband.

After getting fed up with slow internet speeds, the community of Michaelston Y Fedw near Newport decided to form a Community Interest Company to bring ultrafast broadband to the area.

The first residents were connected last week and now have internet with upload and download speed of 1Gbps or 1000Mbps.

Villagers raised the money needed to build the network and now the village pub, community hall and church are already connected to the ultrafast broadband and work is underway to connect over 175 premises in in the community.

Caroline Hill and Ben Longman of the Cefn Mably Arms pub said: “With fast upload and download speeds we can spend more time overseeing what really matters about our business, which is being with our customers and staff, ensuring we give the highest standards of service for all our patrons.”

Jayne Bryant, AM for Newport West and Welsh Government Minister with responsibility for digital, Julie James, this week met with local residents who have been instrumental to the project, as well as whose will benefit from it.

She said: “This project has been an impressive community effort. It’s brilliant to meet local residents and hear how they’ve come together to make this idea a reality.

“They’ve discovered a wealth of local expertise, built new friendships and strengthened community spirit. I’m delighted that with Welsh Government support, Michaelston Y Fedw, are leading the way in Wales.”

They are eligible to be funded by the Welsh Government’s Access Broadband Cymru scheme or Ultrafast Connectivity Voucher once the speeds had been reached. Both schemes are available for premises which cannot currently access superfast broadband.

Julie James AM said: “It’s great to see how the community of Michaelston-y-Fedw have spotted an opportunity to use the Welsh Government’s voucher scheme along with real community spirit to achieve an increase in broadband speed which is a real game-changer. They are now able to benefit from some of the fastest internet speeds in the UK, which is a credit to all those involved in this project.

“I’m pleased to see what has been achieved here, which shows that community power coupled with government support can really make a difference.”

David Schofield, a director of the Michaelston y Fedw Internet Community Interest Company, said:

“Ultrafast internet is now a reality in Michaelston y Fedw. This has been achieved through a huge amount of effort by local volunteers who have turned out in all weathers to help build our network. Without them, the support of landowners, the village hall, local investors and the Welsh Government grant schemes this would never have got off the ground. We now have internet speeds that are world class, and this makes all the effort worthwhile.”