A PROJECT to bring hyperfast broadband to the Allen Valleys is nearing completion.

The ambitious £100,000 project was launched by community group Broadband 4 Allen Valleys (B4AV) in 2017, in a bid to improve internet connections for 400 households and businesses.

Now, much of the cables for the broadband, which will have internet speeds of up to 1GB, have been laid, and the first properties are being connected.

B4AV’s leader, Mike Robinson, said: “Things have been happening. We’ve laid more kilometres of ducting now and we should get the first cohort of people to go live in June.

“We’re finally seeing the fruits of it. It’s a good start. As we go through the summer we’ll connect more people.

“We have about 1,600 properties in the valleys and we’ve passed the 500 mark for people that have registered. We’re not just talking about it, we’re doing it.”

Residents will pay a one-off connection fee, followed by a £30 monthly fee.

However, changes to the government’s Gigabyte Voucher Scheme means that B4AV are now offering anyone connecting to the network a free connection to the network and a cash grant, worth £300 for businesses or £150 for residential properties.

Mike explained: “We’re desperate for people to apply to the voucher scheme.

“We get £2,500 per business and £500 for a residential property, so we get that and in return we’ll give them a cash grant which pays for their little bit of duct to the house.

“I’ve seen the internet speed demonstrated, and you can watch four or five streams at once. You just switch it on and it’s there, there’s no buffering. It’s a brave new world.”

The Gigabyte Voucher Scheme was set up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport to help with the costs of bringing hyper-fast broadband to homes and businesses.