"Broadband no longer a luxury" - Mick Bates AM

2009 Mehefin 17 4:42 PM

Commenting on the Government's Digital Britain Report, Montgomeryshire AM Mick Bates said: "Access to broadband is no longer a luxury and I welcome the Digital Britain Report which I hope will play a key role in bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas, with the roll-out of a superfast broadband connection across the country. "I hope that the fixed line levy will give the industry the boost it needs to ensure that broadband will be delivered to every household with no exceptions or excuses. However it is crucial that the Government considers exemptions for pensioners and other vulnerable groups who may not be able to afford this charge. "For too long rural areas have been left behind with little or no access to broadband, leaving individuals feeling isolated and unable to access services and jeopardising the ability of businesses to compete in local, national and global markets. "Rural Wales cannot afford to play catch-up any longer. It is crucial that where provision is provided, the fastest possible connection is put in place, so that the broadband gap that currently exists is not repeated with a super-fast broadband gap between urban and rural areas."

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