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UK.gov plugs £10m into North Wales 'superfast' broadband rollout

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The government is ponying up £10m to help deploy "superfast" broadband fibre in North Wales.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the cash splurge today and said the funding would be used to roll out the early phases of the project in Pwllheli and surrounding areas of North Wales.

It said the funds were allocated as part of the Welsh Assembly government's national plan to deliver broadband to the principality.

"This funding will support the Welsh economy and help drive the private sector-led recovery by driving innovation and commercial opportunities in communities across Wales," said Osborne.

“This is just the first wave of funding for Wales from the over half a billion pounds we have already set aside to extend superfast broadband across the UK."

In September 2008 BT lobbied the Welsh Assembly to push for funds to help deploy 100Mbit/s internet access in the country.

The telco giant promised the largest ever superfast broadband programme for Cornwall late last year.

That money for that particular project, which was the largest single EU investment in the UK, came from European convergence funds (£53.5m) and BT (£78.5m). Wales is the only other UK region to qualify for convergence funds. BT has run a similar project in Northern Ireland.

In December 2010, the Wales Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State David Jones declined to comment on how much of the broadband funding the coalition planned to spend on the principality.

"The government's Broadband Strategy announced yesterday that every community in the UK, including Wales, will have access to superfast broadband as we move towards our aim to have Europe's best broadband network," he said at the time.

"We have not allocated shares from the £530m we have made available to help deliver on this commitment by 2015, but expect that projects in Wales will receive an appropriate share of this funding." ®

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