The EU is now ready to grant State Aid approval for the Welsh Government’s ‘Next Generation Broadband in Wales’ project. The decision is set to be rubber stamped and announced in early November and will be a relief to many broadband sufferers, BT and the Welsh Government alike.
The deployment which will provide fast fibre-based broadband services to 96% of businesses and homes across Wales by the end of 2015 was announced in July, however EU State Aid approval was required given the fact that BT remained the only bidder for the Welsh contract.
In light of recent public sector procurement fiasco’s for rail services in other parts of the UK, it may come as a comfort to some that the Welsh Government has undergone a thorough procurement process stretching almost 2 years to get to this point. However delays in the deployment and patchy infrastructure upgrades during this time have (and will) continue to frustrate some early adopters.
As Internet connectivity increasingly becomes an integral part of our daily lives, our expectancy of what it does for us, whenever and wherever we want it to, will continue to rise. Therefore issues around the speed, cost and access of high quality broadband services are set to be a thorny subject for many across Wales for the foreseeable future.