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Digital infrastructure in Wales

The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee is carrying out an inquiry into digital infrastructure in Wales. The Committee intends to examine the work Welsh Government has undertaken to date in improving connectivity across Wales and plans for future schemes.

 

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Summary

The Committee will scrutinise the work of Welsh Government to date in improving digital connectivity within Wales. The inquiry is set to explore how mobile and broadband coverage in Wales has been influenced by Welsh Government interventions and how the successor to Superfast Cymru will be developed to provide the next generation of broadband.

 

Background

According to the latest figures by Ofcom, superfast broadband coverage in Wales has increased faster than any other part of the UK. Following the completion of Superfast Cymru, the Welsh Government is due to start a procurement process for the successor scheme in February 2017, with delivery expected to start in January 2018.

The latest data on mobile phone coverage shows that Wales generally has the lowest availability of 3G and 4G in the UK. The Scottish Government has recently published its Mobile Action Plan with the support of network providers. Within the strategy it examines how devolved powers such as planning can be used to enhance coverage in hard to reach areas.

 

The Committee is looking at the following issues:

 

  • What is the performance to date of the roll-out and take-up of Superfast Cymru, including the extent to which the project has been communicated to people in the intervention area and interim targets have been met?
  • What work can Welsh Government do to improve mobile coverage, including use of the planning system?
  • What has been the efficacy of the Welsh Government’s other broadband schemes, such as Access Broadband Cymru and Ultrafast Connectivity Vouchers?
  • What are the plans for the Superfast Cymru successor scheme?
  • How could alternative technologies be used to improve superfast broadband and mobile coverage?
  • How could Welsh Government learn from international examples of public sector intervention in the roll-out of broadband and mobile coverage?

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

Status: Report in preparation

First published: 28/11/2016

Documents

 

 

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