By Staff Writer | 29 Sep 2006
The people of Wales have a month to contribute their views on how the Welsh Assembly Government can use IT to improve public services and the economy of Wales, as part of WAG's ‘Towards e-Wales’ consultation. The closing date for responses is 31 October 2006.
Responses from the consultation will lead to an implementation plan to be issued later in 2006, which will stress the priorities for action to exploit IT in public services and Wales’ economic development strategy.
Those living and working in Wales are invited to share their views on how best to heighten Welsh economic performance, improve public services and ensure all citizens can exploit the opportunities offered by ICT and benefit from developments in telecommunications infrastructure.
This consultation follows the recent restructuring of WAG and the setting up of the new e-Wales Unit, which supersedes the previous Broadband Wales programme.
The enefits of the Broadband Wales scheme has come under the microscope in a report issued by WAG this month. The Broadband Benefits Report] [pdf] carried out by Newport-based Atkins Management Consultants, studies the impact of broadband and the Broadband Wales programme on the Welsh economy and covers the period 2000-2015.
WAG says: “The key findings of the report estimates that the net benefit of broadband on the Welsh economy to be at least £1.4 billon and the net benefit of the Broadband Wales programme to be at least £357 million.”
The report also states: “We estimated that, if the programme had not been established, there would have been 7.5 broadband connections per 100 inhabitants in Wales as at June 2005, compared to our estimate of actual penetration of 12.7 connections per 100 inhabitants.”
According to the study, Wales is doing well in providing first generation broadband, but is still lagging behind the UK and other industrialised countries when it comes to faster broadband services.