The Government has recently made a significant commitment to investing in the UK’s Broadband infrastructure and developing next generation broadband. The Government’s aim, outlined in Britain's Superfast Broadband Future, is to give the country “the best broadband network in Europe by 2015”.
The Government has announced £830 million of public funding to finance the broadband strategy to 2017. Increasingly, reliable internet access is seen as a driver of economic performance and vital for business, education and people living alone or in isolated areas. There is, however, some concern that Wales is being left behind other parts of the UK and beyond in the digital revolution with reports of serious difficulties experienced by some people living in rural areas in gaining access to broadband services.
The Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry into Broadband Services, which will examine:
• The current provision of broadband services in Wales;
• The UK Government’s broadband strategy, with particular regard to its potential impact on Wales;
• The case for further Next Generation Access (‘super-fast’ broadband) pilot projects based in Wales;
• The extent to which the strategy of the UK Government will complement the Welsh Assembly Government’s priorities for the future of broadband in Wales;
• Progress made towards promoting digital inclusion in Wales, including evidence of the take-up of broadband support schemes on offer;
• Progress made towards improving the provision of broadband infrastructure throughout Wales and eradicating broadband ‘notspots’; and
• Progress made towards improving mobile broadband coverage in Wales.
The Committee asks for written submissions on these issues in accordance with the guidelines stated below. The deadline for written submissions is Tuesday 3 May 2011. Public oral evidence sessions are expected to commence in June 2011.
Each submission should:
• begin with a short summary in bullet point form;
• have numbered paragraphs; and
• be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible. Please do not send your submission as a PDF document.
A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] and marked “Broadband in Wales”.
An additional paper copy should be sent to:
Welsh Affairs Committee
House of Commons
London SW1P 3JA.
It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication.
A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/witnessguide.pdf ( PDF 1.25 MB)
Please also note that:
• Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
• Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
• Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
• Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.