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Wales is to get a cash injection of £18.4 million to help expand its broadband network.

Welsh Assembly First Minister Rhodri Morgan and Assembly e-minister Andrew Davies said the cash will bring broadband within the reach of many more people in the Principality.

Over the next six months the money will be used to bring high-speed network and broadband internet access into each Welsh local authority.

Schools, libraries and learning centres will get connected and it's hoped that with this investment in place business parks will also be able to hook up to the hi-speed network.

Said First Minister Rhodri Morgan: "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.

"This investment is likely to stimulate demand for broadband in Wales and encourage further private sector investment."

Net users in Wales have been crying out for broadband claiming they have been overlooked in the past.

Adam Rykala, a campaigner for more broadband coverage for Wales, told The Register: "This is one of the poorest areas of the UK, suffering incredible hardship as the UK's economy transfers away from manufacturing, and it's being ignored when it comes to the information revolution.

"Our argument is that by carefully targeting exchanges across this community there exists the potential to turn the empty business parks that litter our region into small information centres," he said.

It will be interesting to see if this investment really does benefit education and the local economy, in the way that people think it will.

The UK Government would be wise to keep an eye on its progress. ®

Related link

Broadband Wales press release.

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