Work has commenced on the Welsh Government’s Super-fast Cymru project, which is designed to deliver super-fast broadband across Wales.
In a statement to Assembly Members, Business Minister Edwina Hart confirmed that programme partner BT has completed detailed preparatory work and officially started work on the rollout.
She said the Super-fast Cymru programme is "set to transform the broadband landscape" in Wales and promote economic growth and sustainable jobs.
"It will ensure we are at the forefront of the global digital economy and help to champion Wales as a great place to live, work, invest and visit," Ms Hart stated.
"State aid approval has now been granted by the UK Government, allowing us to complete the Major Project Notification process to secure European Regional Development Fund structural funding worth £80 million," she noted.
Ms Hart revealed that BT has already made "considerable progress" to prepare for the programme, including engagement with planning and highways authorities across Wales.
"A rollout plan has been prepared which takes into account the local demographics and cartography of Wales, together with the Welsh Government's economic priorities, including the Enterprise Zones and the Powys local growth zone," she explained.
The fibre broadband deployment will start in 14 unitary authorities during 2013-14.
They are Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Newport, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea and Vale of Glamorgan.
By 2014-15, the fibre broadband rollout will be underway in all unitary authorities, as the Welsh Government aims to increase the adoption of next-generation services.