It’s all going on in Wales at the moment. Google has teamed up with the Welsh government to stimulate the presence of Welsh business online, and the authorities are pressing ahead with plans to put Wales at the forefront of the information super-highway. The key to the success of both ventures depends on the delivery of high-speedevery region in the country. The Welsh Assembly has made a commitment to provide access to superfast internet connection rates to all residents and businesses in the country by 2015 in conjunction with private sector broadband investment. In order to ensure that it delivers the very best service possible, the Cardiff-based Assembly is asking for market responses on the best geographical locations to site its new super-fast broadband infrastructure. Any feedback it receives could enhance the performance of voice over IP solutions in the region. The Assembly is hopeful that businesses will be prompted to invest in services in the next couple of years as higher speeds result in better call quality.
Any interested party is being asked to comment on the proposed areas earmarked for intervention in Wales, in order to assist the Welsh government to refine its plans in relation to next-generation infrastructure investment from the private sector. A deadline of February 23rd 2012 has been set for responses to be received.
Commenting on the initiative, Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science, stated:
“We want Wales to be a truly digital nation and our Next Generation Broadband project is geared to ensure that all residential premises and businesses in Wales have access toby 2015. We welcome this initiative to help companies gain maximum benefits from using and exploiting digital technologies to innovate, grow and access new markets, and drive business growth. This investment in a first class, globally competitive digital infrastructure will ensure that Wales is at the forefront of the digital economy.”
Wales has lagged behind other regions in the UK in the uptake of digital technology, and consequently businesses have suffered. Is investment in a first class digital infrastructure really all that important? Well, the pace of transformation in countries such as South Korea in terms of connection rates means that the UK and Wales in particular need to commit to creating a world-class broadband infrastructure whilst ensuring they remain competitive. Data has an increasingly important role to play in any modern economy.
In an article in the Daily Post, Emma Watkins, director of CBI Wales, explained that more must be done by the national government to ensure the UK communications sector thrives and that growth in the industry is maximised. Ms Watkins is highly enthusiastic about the delivery of superfast broadband and believes it can only be good for businesses, stating:
“A policy framework that encourages investment in content and infrastructure is vital for the country.”