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11. Constructing The E-nation: The Internet in Wales

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This article presents a brief overview of the development and potential of the Internet in Wales. It does so within the context of political debates about the provision of Internet access, and of the specific difficulties faced by the Welsh Assembly Government in determining financial investment and policy initiatives within the constraints of UK-wide policy-making in relation to new information and communication technologies. It begins by outlining the roll-out of Internet-related technology around Wales in recent years and summarizes the factors – economic, geographical and socio-cultural – which have placed Wales behind most of the UK with regard to many indicators of Internet usage and access (particularly domestic access), and which have also produced a set of internal imbalances. It then proceeds to evaluate the policy-makers' response to these constraints, and towards the physical expansion of the relevant infrastructure, together with further initiatives aimed at influencing citizens' attitudes towards the new technology and at fostering Internet usage by a more demographically and geographically diverse public. It concludes by evaluating the applicability to Wales of arguments in favour of a Universal Service Fund as a funding mechanism for the widening of domestic Internet access, and of such a development's potential role as part of further initiatives aimed at both extending the physical availability of Internet access and also changing public perceptions and behaviour.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • Contemporary Wales is at the forefront of research into economic, political and social sciences relating to Wales. It contains both academic and practitioner-based articles, annual economic and legal reviews, and book reviews. Its interdisciplinary content drawing on current research on Wales makes the journal essential reading for students and researchers across a range of subject areas, including political and social policy, history, law, media and languages. Contemporary Wales has published articles in English and in Welsh.

    Mae Contemporary Wales wedi’i gyhoeddi’n gan Wasg Prifysgol Cymru fel llwyfan ar gyfer ymchwil blaengar ar Gymru o safbwynt y gwyddorau economaidd, gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol. Mae'n cynnwys cyfuniad o erthyglau gan academyddion ac ymarferwyr, adolygiadau economaidd a chyfreithiol blynyddol, ac adolygiadau o gyhoeddiadau yn y maes. Mae natur rhyngddisgyblaethol y cynnwys sy'n seliedig ar yr ymchwil diweddaraf yn golygu bod y cyfnodolyn yn hanfodol i wleidyddion, gwneuthurwyr polisi, y cyfryngau, gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, llywodraeth leol yn ogystal â fyfyrwyr ac ymchwilwyr mewn ystod eang o feysydd gan gynnwys polisi gwleidyddol a chymdeithasol, hanes, y gyfraith, y cyfryngau a ieithoedd. Mae Contemporary Wales wedi cyhoeddi erthyglau yn y Gymraeg a’r Saesneg.

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