Wales: Wireless Nation

27/03/2022

Plaid Cymru's Rural Affairs Minister has put forward the party's vision for a modern and ambitious Wales during her speech to conference. Elin Jones AM highlighted Plaid Cymru's key election policy for the Welsh general election of 'Connecting Wales.'

The pledge promises that a future Plaid Cymru Welsh government will connect Wales for the 21st century with better mobile signal, Wi-Fi and broadband coverage, and a modern transport system to move our nation forward.

The party's Director of Communications outlined how Plaid Cymru, building on the already recognisable improvements it has made to transport and communications infrastructure in government, would pioneer major improvements in mobile phone, broadband and Wi-Fi across Wales, including on public transport. Wales would become a truly Wireless Nation with every business and home linked to fast broadband and Wi-Fi hotspots created across the country.

The Ceredigion AM also focussed on transport links in Wales specifically speeding journeys and providing, reliable and affordable ways to travel. Plaid Cymru will move to electrify more railways across Wales and improve our bus services.

Elin Jones AM said:

"Plaid Cymru want to see a modern and ambitious Wales. Our plans are about not just about delivering for one area but about delivering for the whole of Wales. We want to create a better connected nation, connecting every part of Wales and connecting Wales to the world.

"Plaid Cymru's plans to ensure that we are leading the way in terms of mobile phone, broadband and Wi-Fi technologies show our commitment to building a contemporary Wales. Ieuan Wyn Jones AM has already started that process in government with significant investment in mobile technology development when he announced £4.9 million for a Centre of Excellence in this field. We want to take that work to the next level putting Wales on the map for communication connectivity.

We know that we have areas in rural and urban Wales that suffer from poor mobile coverage, even along the M4. Some communities are so frustrated - they are erecting their own community masts. Plaid Cymru wants to develop this approach further and for more communities. The private sector has failed to plug these gaps and so Plaid Cymru wants to develop a national programme of installing masts on publicly-owned land, and offering these masts for use to the mobile operators. Land near to schools and hospitals would be excluded – but economic and forestry land would be used. We'd also look for similar innovation in delivering broadband and in supporting universal high speed broadband through our network of television transmitters, even to current notspot areas. Plaid is also pledging to develop free wi-fi hotspot areas in public and community buildings throughout Wales. Plaid Cymru will not allow areas of Wales to be left behind – we want all of Wales connected

"Plaid Cymru also want to remove barriers and connect Wales physically through improvements to our transport systems. We will build on the already excellent enhancements that have already been delivered by our Plaid Cymru Transport Minister. We will get Wales moving with faster more reliable and affordable ways to travel. We'll move to electrify more railways across Wales and improve our bus services. A more connected Wales will help create a successful Wales improving our transport, tourism, economy and environment.

On May 5th with Plaid in government we can become a better connected Wales."