Wales is already reaping the benefits of a £115m broadband investment programme, according to the country's e-minister.
The Welsh Assembly announced the funding in July, which it said is the biggest government investment in broadband in the UK.
Andrew Davies, e-minister in the Welsh Assembly, said: "There are big developments and big opportunities for broadband in Wales. IT is key to our change programme. It's about hard outcomes and delivery.
"For us broadband is a means to an end and not an end in its own right. We want to be a broadband content consumer and producer. We need both of these to happen to see real social and economic benefits."
Davies claimed that companies such as General Dynamics are investing in Wales largely because of the broadband infrastructure.
The Welsh Assembly plans to increase broadband availability by 30 per cent over what the market can deliver.
"That is 300,000 homes and 67,000 businesses that would have been left behind," said Davies. It will also provide fibre into key business parks.
The minister promised that 47 per cent of schools will have broadband connections by March 2003, 2Mbps for primary and 8Mbps for secondary.
Two-thirds of Welsh GPs are online at 256Kbps, he said, adding that "Cardiff has one of the fastest take-ups of ADSL in the country".
The Broadband in Wales campaign has been raising awareness with a series of road shows.
It is offering a subsidy of £1,500 to businesses that cannot get ADSL and have to use satellite instead, which brings the cost of satellite down to around the same as broadband.
Although the scheme was only launched seven weeks ago, 60 companies have already taken advantage, with 600 information packs sent out.
Keith Todd, chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said: "Devolved government plays a central role. This is a market-led revolution, but leadership in the local regions will ensure widespread coverage by 2005."
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