Wales will see £56.9m of funding for next-generation broadband from the government's £530m fund which is to be distributed through BDUK. The Welsh government will make the decision on how the money is used within the country to support broadband projects through the country. The government have also encouraged the Welsh Government to offer matched funding and it believes that with this, it could achieved 90% of the country with access to next-generation broadband.
"Superfast broadband is essential if businesses are to grow and create new jobs. It is increasingly important for the way we deliver public services and to our everyday lives.
But some areas of the UK are being left behind. Many rural and hard-to-reach communities do not have decent broadband access. We must ensure the whole country can join the digital age.
We are investing £56.9 million to help take broadband to the whole of Wales. If the Welsh Government matches our investment, 90 per cent of the country's homes and businesses will have access to superfast broadband.
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."Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport
Rural wales has long suffered from poor broadband connectivity, with many telephone lines being further from the local telephone exchange than conventional broadband services can support. Twelve of the twenty-two council areas within Wales have the worst broadband provision in the UK. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has recognised that investment into broadband in rural areas is vitally important to keeping businesses competitive. It warns that the digital divide may get worse if rural areas cannot gain access to social media due to poor broadband provision.
"If rural areas cannot connect because there is no broadband, they are unable to benefit from new technologies such as Twitter and Facebook. The divide will widen, leading to uncompetitive rural businesses and socially-excluded rural communities. The countryside sees the enormous advantages of social media but is frustrated that it cannot play a part."William Worsley, CLA President