Monday, September 04, 2006

Wales Broadband Stakeholder Group dissolved
By Staff Writer | 1 Sep 2006

The Wales Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) has been dissolved following an internal consultation with its members. The group said it needed a new approach to fulfil its role in contributing to the Welsh broadband strategy.

In a statement, the Wales BSG said it recognises that the reorganisation of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG), the setting up of the new Department for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, the new e-Wales unit, and the strategic review of the Broadband Wales programme represent a new phase of governmental activity.

It also stated that the changed broadband and ICT marketplace offered new opportunities and challenges beyond the original Broadband Wales agenda.

The founding members of the group are planning a Wales broadband forum event for the autumn. Charlie Bass, chair of Wales BSG, told Ping Wales: “An open forum will allow us to be more aggressive in questioning the broadband strategy in Wales. This will give a much broader opportunity for people to voice their views on the matter.”

Set up in 2002 as a critical friend of WAG and the Broadband Wales initiative, the group reportedly encountered difficulties in establishing a working relationship with WAG.

Its last disappointment was the much-delayed and somewhat contentious RIBS programme, which is the final stage of the Broadband Wales strategy to ensure 100% broadband coverage in Wales by 2007.

Bass said the Wales BSG had expected the initiative to act as a catalyst to generate a collective community spirit and deliver community-based broadband projects, but now has to accept that this is not part of the RIBS agenda.

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