Computer Weekly is reporting that the e-Communities initiative planned by the Welsh Assembly has been scrapped. The project was to have a budget of £16.5 million, and the reason for the apparent scrapping is that the Labour-led assembly was 'hard-pressed' to match the EU funding which was needed for the EC to release the money.
The scheme was aimed at helping people in deprived communities get online, covering around 100 urban and rural areas across Wales. The money allocated to the project already will now be re-allocated to other projects, including one where poor communities can apply for funds to finance their own IT projects.
At a time when the major roll-out battle for Wales is entering its final phase, the need for schemes to drive demand, and assist people who perhaps stand to benefit from broadband but cannot afford to is very important. In theory by the end of 2005, all but 34 of Wales 433 exchanges should have ADSL installed in them.
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