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Wales UK Gets its Own Internet Service Providers Association WISPA

Posted: 09th Jun, 2011 By: MarkJ
wales uk broadband mapOfcom UK's former head of broadcasting and telecommunications for Wales, Hywel Wiliam, has setup the Wales Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) to help lobby for faster broadband ISP connectivity across the country.

WISPA, which is not to be confused with a chocolate bar of the same name or even the Women's International Squash Players Association (it took us awhile to find the right website), was founded at the end of last month and aims to launch a new education campaign to better promote the benefits of broadband and internet connectivity.

In addition WISPA will also act as a trade body to represent Welsh ISPs, with members needing to adhere to a special Code of Practice before they can join. This is all rather reminiscent of the UK ISPA and its establishment could easily be taken as a sign of growing frustration surrounding the lack of focus upon broadband in Wales.

WISPA Chairman, Hywel Wiliam, said:

"I am very honoured but there is a lot of work to do. I firmly believe that Wales has a bright digital future but we want other providers to join us fast and we also want to sit down with BT at the earliest opportunity. Wales must not get left behind."

At present the WISPA website is a somewhat mediocre affair and has just two member ISPs to its name - SPECTRUM INTERNET and EXWAVIA, although its ambitions to improve self regulation within the Welsh ISP sector and drive competition are deeply admirable.

It's also important not to confuse WISPA with Wispa Limited, which claims to be a "group of websites and consultants that passionately believe that Welsh Broadband deserves better". Luckily Wispa Ltd. has taken the conflict well and believes that WISPA "could be a fantastic thing for Welsh broadband if managed well and if they gain a voice that is listened to". Just a shame they didn't pick a different name.

Meanwhile the Welsh Assembly Government's (WAG) Digital Wales strategy seeks to bring "super-fast" broadband to all businesses by the middle of 2016, with access for households by 2020.
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