Dragons welcome BT to Glasgow clash


Dragons RFC welcomed long-term partners BT and local dignitaries as their special guests for our recent BKT United Rugby Championship encounter with Glasgow Warriors.

Nick Speed - BT Head of Nations & Regions, Policy and Public Affairs - and the team from BT were joined by Newport MPs and Members of the Senedd - Jayne Bryant MS, Ruth Jones MP, Jessica Morden MP and John Griffiths MS – for the day at Rodney Parade.

BT has been a hugely valued and supportive partner of Welsh professional rugby and the four regions for the past eight years.

During the visit to Newport, Nick Speed took part in a special Q&A in the Bisley Suite where he spoke to hospitality guests about what the digital landscape is going to look across our region.

He also spoke passionately about BT’s involvement with a pioneering and next generation 5G classroom in Ebbw Vale, after meeting some pupils who have used the facility.

BT Business first delivered the immersive learning experience in Ebbw Vale for Welsh Government last year, as part of their 5G Wales programme across Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire.

The scheme aims to demonstrate how ultrafast technology like 5G could transform rural communities, from improving rural transport and education to powering tech innovations in agriculture.

The high-tech classroom uses a localised 5G network to project educational and inspiring video content onto all four walls in a 360-degree format, providing an immersive experience.

Lessons can be delivered across a variety of curriculum-related themes —taking children and young people on a journey of the senses as they ‘dive’ into the detail of a plant cell or explore the surface of a planet.

Nick said: “It was brilliant to get such fantastic feedback on the power of new technology from those young Dragons fans who had been to the 5G classroom.

“It’s giving local schoolchildren the chance to take part in lessons in a totally different way, opening up opportunities for them to see for themselves all kinds of locations around the world.

 “All this comes on the back of EE, part of BT Group, announcing that its ultrafast 5G based mobile broadband network now covers 60 per cent of the UK’s population – up from 50 per cent in May 2022.

“We’ve also named 19 new locations around the UK where the network has just gone live – including, in Southeast Wales, Chepstow, Cwmbran and Monmouth.”

Nick also took time to reflect on BT’s partnership with Dragons RFC and the wider Welsh game.

“It’s always good to be back at Rodney Parade and we are now in the eighth year of BT’s successful partnership with the four regions,” he added.

“I know our colleagues working out of our offices, including Merthyr and Cardiff, really appreciate the chance to come to games at all the four regions, through the reward and recognition programme.

“Everyone at BT Group is also now looking forward to the end of April at Principality Stadium and building on the community festival element of Judgement Day.”

It was brilliant to get such fantastic feedback on the power of new technology from those young Dragons fans who had been to the 5G classroom...
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