Companies in Wales looking to take replace their business phone systems with voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology are set to receive a boost in the form of a new super-fast broadband network.
The government is digging deep and providing £10m to deploy the network in Wales. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne made the announcement on February 10th, and stated that the earliest phase of the huge project would begin in North Wales, with Pwllheli being amongst the first places to benefit from it.
After stating that the funds are to be apportioned as part of a plan by the Welsh Assembly to deliver a faster network to the country, he added:
“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.
“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.”
The scheme is the culmination of years of effort and will benefit businesses wanting to make savings on traditional landline costs whilst increasing the flexibility of their business phone systems.
British Telecom originally asked the Welsh Assembly in 2008 for money to install the 100Mbit/s network. Last December, David Jones, the Welsh Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, refused to confirm the amount of money committed to the project by the coalition government.
The scheme has been helped along by £78.5m of BT’s own money and European Union funds of £53.5m – the largest singular investment in the United Kingdom ever made by the EU.
Wales is the sole place in the UK qualifying for such EU funding.
Mr Jones said:
“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.
“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.”