Media Wales: Bringing Wales to the World; What Is Wales's Strategy for a High Speed Broadband Internet? Here the Economic Development Minister ANDREW DAVIES Sets out the National Assembly's Policy

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Byline: ANDREW DAVIES

I LAUNCHED the Broadband Wales Programme last summer as the Welsh Assembly Government's flagship programme for facilitating widespread access to affordable broadband across Wa

es .

It is a pounds 115m flexible, holistic and balanced programme to be delivered by a dedicated Broadband Wales team working in partnership with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

It will deliver a range of activities such as stimulating demand and supply, encouraging local initiatives, facilitating specific procurements and continuing to develop the aggregation of public sector demand for broadband.

At the heart of the programme is a recognition of the need to adopt a balanced approach between supply and demand, recognising that demand can act as a driver for further supply and vice versa.

We therefore intend to create a virtuous circle whereby increased demand for broadband feeds supply, helping our companies to innovate, grow and compete in the global and national marketplace. This will in turn drive further increases in demand and supp

y.

We have already achieved a great deal such as launching Try Before You Buy broadband showcasing facilities available at main ICT Support Centres across Wales and demonstrating the potential and benefits of broadband to Welsh businesses.

However the programme will help to deliver much, much more. Over its lifetime I expect a 30% increase in available broadband services above what the market will deliver. This means 67,000 businesses and 310,000 households.

We also aim to address the higher end of the bandwidth market through taking forward international connectivity to enhance our capability and reputation at the higher end of the market. …