Wales broadband given £56.9 million boost


The Government has announced 56.9 million additional funding for broadband in Wales.

It is hoped the money will help bring superfast connections to 90 per cent of the country, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said yesterday.

The funding will come from the Government's 530 million broadband investment fund.

The Government wants to see the Welsh Assembly pay its way too, matching the 56.9 million pledge.

"Many rural and hard-to-reach communities do not have decent broadband access. We must ensure the whole country can join the digital age," Hunt said.

"If the Welsh Government matches our investment, 90 per cent of the country's homes and businesses will have access to superfast broadband."

Secretary of state for Wales Cheryl Gillan said the Government was committed to boosting the Welsh economy.

"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," Gillan said.

"Today's announcement will ensure broadband take-up and speed can be significantly improved, benefitting individuals and businesses."

BT and others in the private sector have committed to bringing superfast connections to two thirds of the UK already. The public sector has been called on to help bring connections to the rest of the nation.

A recent IT Pro report found issues over infrastructure pricing and actual enthusiasm for broadband could stunt the growth of superfast broadband in the UK.

Last week, Ofcom announced its intention to explore the use of "white spaces" freed up by the move to digital radio to help spread broadband to the whole of the UK.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.