Wales gets £57m in broadband funding

Wales is set to receive £56.9m to help provide superfast broadband to 90% of homes and businesses in the country and enable broadband access for everyone.

Wales is set to receive £56.9m to help provide superfast broadband to 90% of homes and businesses in the country...

and enable broadband access for everyone.

The investment amounts to just over 10% of the government's £530m broadband investment fund designed to provide 90% of the UK with superfast broadband by 2015, and everyone with speeds of 2Mbps.

But MPs have called for the extension to the proposed reach for 4G networks from 95% to 98% of the population in Ofcom's upcoming 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum auction.

Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, said if the Welsh government matches the investment, the target 90% superfast broadband coverage would be achieved.

"If you suffer the frustration of slow internet connections, then tell your Welsh Assembly member that you need broadband. Urge them to make this investment and ensure that Wales is not left behind," he said.

The secretary of state for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, said: "I am delighted with this announcement which, with the new money we are providing to electrify the rail line to south Wales, shows our commitment to ensuring that Wales has the infrastructure it needs to grow."

Last week, Ofcom launched an interactive broadband map, which showed large areas of the UK need investment in internet connectivity. Wales, the North West and Scotland were the areas most lacking in connectivity.

The report into broadband provision highlighted the challenge facing us in Wales to ensure we improve provision for domestic and business users, said Gillan. "Today's announcement will ensure broadband take-up and speed can be significantly improved, benefitting individuals and businesses," she added.

In February, chancellor George Osborne announced £10m of funding for broadband in Pwllheli and surrounding areas of North Wales as part of the Welsh Assembly Government's national delivery plan for all of Wales.

Photo: Duncan Smith



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