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Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy

First published:
10 November 2022
Last updated:

I have today published on the Welsh Government website the report of the digital infrastructure barrier busting taskforce.

The creation of the taskforce was a recommendation in the report from the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales into digital infrastructure.

The taskforce is made up of a wide range of representatives from the telecommunications industry, public bodies, and the Welsh Government. It brings together expertise on a broad variety of issues from telecommunications to highways and from planning to asset management.

The aim of the taskforce is to remove barriers and create the right environment to deliver digital infrastructure at pace to improve connectivity in Wales.

The final report has been co-produced by the taskforce and facilitated by officials. Members of the taskforce have been given the time to bottom out the barriers to deployment and to agree solutions to what are complex issues. It highlights barriers and solutions across five key areas: planning, streetworks, public assets, regulation, and communications.

It contains six recommendations:

  • Take action to improve communications on digital infrastructure with residents and businesses.
  • Facilitate open and transparent communications between the telecommunications industry and public bodies in Wales.
  • Work across public bodies and the telecommunications industry to extend coverage of broadband in Wales through changes to publicly funded schemes.
  • Create a standardised approach to managing public assets for digital infrastructure.
  • Update standards and codes of best practice to underpin the delivery of digital infrastructure in Wales.
  • Use information and regulatory levers available in Wales to drive improvements in digital infrastructure and create the right conditions for investment.

The recommendations are underpinned by specific actions. The taskforce working groups and board will continue to play a crucial role as we work to deliver the actions. I will keep Members informed as work to deliver the actions continues.