Family that live in one of UK's highest houses in Snowdonia to get internet for the first time

A family that live in the highest house in the UK are to get ultrafast broadband for the very first time.

The Morris family live nearly halfway up Yr Wyddfa, in the Snowdonia National Park in north Wales. They have had little or no internet connectivity for years.

Eira Morris, said: “We live off-grid and have never had a telephone landline. For 20 years we have had to stand at a window to answer mobile phone calls.

"Living in the heart of the national park putting up telegraph poles for a landline was never an option, regulations here did not allow it. Having the fastest fibre optic broadband is some kind of miracle.

Ultrafast broadband is currently being installed at the summit of Wales' highest mountain. Seven kilometres of fibre cable is being connected along the railway that runs along Yr Wyddfa.

The Morris family say they're looking forward to all the benefits that come with having fast internet speeds.

Local broadband engineers are working with the Snowdon Mountain Railway to run the cable along the railway that carries nearly 150,000 passengers to the summit every year.

It says ultrareliable full fibre broadband will be available at the top in time for next year’s summer season.

Once finished, Yr Wyddfa, which stands at 1,085 metres, will be the highest point in the UK with full fibre connectivity.

The Hafod Eryri cafe, which has been closed since 2019 because of the Covid lockdown, is set to benefit from the improved connectivity as well as visitors will be able to pay for goods using contactless.

It is also hoped that the improved connectivity will assist search and rescue teams that are frequently called upon to find lost or injured walkers on the mountain.

Every year more than 600,000 walkers make their way to the top of Yr Wyddfa and traditionally search and rescue teams have to rely on radio signal to communicate with one another on the mountain.

This method of radio communication can be impacted by heavy fog. When the full fibre infrastructure is in place, it’s hoped that a small 5G point will be installed that will significantly improve how search and rescue teams can communicate in the future.

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) is one of Wales' most popular tourist destinations.

Suzanne Rutherford, Openreach chief engineer for Wales, said: “To say that bringing full fibre to the top of Yr Wyddfa is a huge task is an understatement.

"You just have to look at the sheer scale of Yr Wyddfa to appreciate how big a job this is for our engineers and that’s before you even take into consideration weather conditions.

“We’re all extremely proud at Openreach of the work we’re doing to not only bring full fibre to what will be the highest point across all of the UK but also the improved connectivity that it will bring for visitors to the summit, families that live under the shadow of Yr Wyddfa and of course how our technology could potentially save lives.”

Marty Druce, railway operations manager at Snowdon Mountain Railway, said: “Full fibre broadband to the summit will be extremely beneficial for us as a business and will greatly improve communications from Llanberis to Hafod Eryri on the summit of Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa.

"It will be hugely beneficial to the local community, visitors and rescue services, with improved connectivity on the mountain.

"Our operations team here at Snowdon Mountain Railway are more than happy to assist in the logistical transportation for the Local Openreach engineers, fibre and equipment along the route of Snowdon.”