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£12.5m boost to help Welsh businesses make the most of superfast broadband

Wednesday, September 23rd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The Welsh Government has launched a £12.5m scheme to help businesses make the most of superfast broadband.

The project will focus on helping small and medium-sized businesses to understand, adopt and exploit Wales’ fibre infrastructure.

79% of premises in Wales are able to access superfast broadband – with commercial rollouts and schemes such as Access Broadband Cymru set to take coverage close to 100% in 2016.

The new £12.5m scheme, which will be delivered over five years, builds on projects in Gwynedd, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea and Blaenau Gwent.

It is being funded by the Welsh Government, local authorities and £7m from the European Regional Development Fund.

Deputy minister for skills and technology, Julie James, said: “We are making tremendous progress in bringing superfast broadband across Wales.

“To reap the maximum economic benefit from this investment it is simply not enough for businesses to take up superfast broadband.

“To take full advantage of the superfast-enabled technologies businesses need to use them to change and improve the way they work.

“It is not just about doing things quicker, it is about doing things smarter.

'Economic benefits'

“The £12.5m project I am announcing today will help businesses do just that, ensuring they make the most of what superfast broadband can offer.”

The scheme will enable businesses to access support and advice through Business Wales, superfast workshops, clinics and one-to-one sessions.

It will also track the adoption and exploitation of superfast broadband by Welsh businesses, and provide training and accreditation for business advisors.

‘Champions’ will also be appointed in each local authority to help lead engagement with their authority and local business community.

Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “European funding has played a key role in bringing superfast broadband to communities across Wales through Superfast Cymru.

“As a pro-business government we want to see businesses make the most of this opportunity so that the economic benefits are maximised and I am pleased that further EU funding will support this scheme.

”This project will help businesses to change the way they operate to achieve economic benefits not only for their business but for Wales as a whole.”

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