Page last updated at 05:58 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 06:58 UK

Broadband action needed in Wales

Computer keyboard and mouse
Fast broadband speeds could be vital for future of economy in Wales

A committee of MPs has called for urgent action so everyone in Wales can gain access to broadband internet.

The MPs said the governments at UK and Welsh assembly level must ensure needs are met in Wales.

The report highlights the urgent need to get rid of broadband 'not spots' around Wales - areas without good access to broadband technology.

It also points out that proper consideration needs to be given to the Welsh language in the matter.

MPs say access to super fast broadband technology in Wales will be key to future economic growth.

The chairman of the Welsh Affairs committee Dr Hywel Francis, MP for Aberavon, said Wales did not face greater challenges than other areas around Britain in gaining access to digital technology.

"But it does have particular needs, for example in relation to the Welsh language, and it is essential that proper consideration and planning are given to these specific requirements."

The MPs said getting universal access to broadband across Wales should be a priority because it was key to the future economic growth.

Overseeing the development of digital technologies is often split between the UK and Welsh assembly governments.

The committee says this brings a risk that key issues can be overlooked in the Government's Digital Inclusion Action plan, such as inclusion of needs of Welsh speakers.

Employers told the MPs they needed staff with better IT skills and more training opportunities.

The MPs recommended the assembly government address the problem in their digital inclusion strategy.

The Digital UK helpline is 08456 50 50 50 (08458 48 48 48 for Welsh-speakers).



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