Cash for Broadband Services; Online Wales : INTERNET: Assembly Investment over Six Months

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 31, 2001 | Go to article overview

Cash for Broadband Services; Online Wales : INTERNET: Assembly Investment over Six Months


Byline: JOANNE ATKINSON

HIGH-SPEED broadband internet services will become available to an increasing proportion of the Welsh public after the announcement of an pounds 18.4m investment by Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

The money will be spent over the next six months to speed up the roll-out of internet services throughout schools, libraries and lifelong learning centres in Wales.

This cash injection aims to put the Assembly Government ahead of the rest of the UK in bringing broadband to the public.

Rhodri Morgan and Assembly e-Minister Andrew Davies made the funding announcement last week.

Mr Morgan said, "This is a made-in-Wales policy which I believe to be the most far-reaching and significant investment in broadband made by any UK Government.

"Easy access to fast internet services will become increasingly important in the future and it is essential that all areas of Wales are able to take advantage of the benefits of this new technology."

Positive spin-offs for Welsh business should arise as a result of the investment - the enhanced broadband infrastructure in Wales will facilitate later link-ups with the WDA's business parks throughout Wales, which will provide hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises with access to broadband.

"In the world of learning, the use of multi-media teaching and e-learning are increasing and in the world of business, companies need the technology in order to maximise the opportunities of ebusiness and help create a knowledge-based economy, " said Mr Morgan.

Broadband technology means that a greater volume and range of information can be transmitted at higher speed. Apart from meaning that the person in the street can download information from the internet more quickly, this communication tool will be increasingly crucial in education and businesses in the digital age.

Assembly e-Minister Andrew Davies said, "We have likened broadband to the railways in the 19th Century and motorways in the 20th Century - we believe it will be the communication method of the 21st Century. …

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