A summary of the taskforce's purpose and how it will work.
The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales published a report into digital infrastructure in Wales in December 2020. The report made a number of recommendations to support the improvement of coverage and access to digital infrastructure. One of their key recommendations was to establish a barrier busting taskforce led by a Welsh Government senior official. The Welsh Government has agreed that a taskforce should be established.
Given the range of issues related to barriers to deployment of digital infrastructure the taskforce is comprised of a cross section of industry, government and wider public sector representatives.
The work plan for the taskforce will focus on a number of areas where barriers have been identified including: street works, access to public assets, planning,regulation and communications.
The governance arrangements for the taskforce are set out in more detail elsewhere but briefly will comprise of a board which set the overall direction for the taskforce, an oversight group which will oversee the day to day activity of the taskforce and five working groups, one each for street works, access to public assets, planning,regulation and communications.
The taskforce aims to create the right environment to deliver digital infrastructure at pace in order to provide mobile phone connectivity and fixed broadband to homes and businesses in Wales by working collaboratively across the public sector and telecommunications industry and using the levers available to the Welsh Government and others to:
- explore the barriers to the deployment of digital infrastructure in Wales to understand their causes and impacts
- identify ways to address those barriers
- where appropriate develop and deliver barrier busting solutions
- bring knowledge and experience to help develop “ what good looks like”
- where possible help support and deliver innovation
The membership will consist of representatives from:
- Welsh Government
- local authorities
- national park authorities
- City and Growth Deals
- Welsh Trunk Road Agencies
- Mobile UK
- Virgin Media
The secretariat function for the taskforce will be carried out by Welsh Government.