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Broadband: Wales

Volume 583: debated on Thursday 3 July 2014

12. What assessment he has made of the success of the broadband roll-out programme in Wales and that programme’s effect on the tourism industry in Wales. (904628)

Independent research estimates that the Government’s investment will generate £20 for every £1 by 2024. Wales has received almost £70 million from the UK Government for the roll-out of superfast broadband. We are confident that this will benefit the Welsh tourist industry, as well as the Welsh economy more generally.

My hon. Friend will be aware that I consider his Department’s decision to allocate funding for rural broadband to the Welsh Government to be a mistake. A total of £120 million has now been allocated from taxpayer funds for the roll-out of broadband in rural Wales, yet my constituents and businesses in the tourist sector in my constituency are no nearer to getting any answers from the Welsh Government about when and where they will have roll-outs. Does my hon. Friend agree that transparency is crucial when £120 million of taxpayer funding is being spent?

It is important that roll-out is as transparent as possible—people need to know when broadband is coming to their area. More than 160,000 premises have been passed but I am sure that Opposition Members will have a word with their Labour colleagues in Wales to encourage them to be more transparent with my hon. Friend.