Let me open by saying this: Personally, I would deeply regret the disappearance of the Welsh language, as happened with Cornish. Having said that, it needs to be preserved and conserved in its original PURE form, as in the first Welsh translation of the Bible. I detest the idea of some know-it-all do-gooder academic taking it upon themselves to re-invent it with Mickey Mouse vocabulary and spellings. This does real welsh no service. In the process of transforming it into a modern European language they will surely destroy it . Besides we already have a perfectly good one: English. To continue…
there weren't any barriers to welsh speakers speaking welsh if they wanted to before the Act. What the Welsh Language Society really want (though they would never say so) is to purge Wales of the English language altogether. The 'equal status' arguement is salami-slicing excersize and masks their true intention which is born of a resentment and hatred of all things English. I know this because I am born and bred Welsh, I've traced my family tree back 100's of years, and I live among the majority non welsh-speaking welsh people. Moreover, I have listened very intently to the activists, their attitude and what they have to say. They are a tiny minority of activists and are quite racist in their attitudes to the English. Among them you will find the old Free Wales Army sympathisers, and cottage burners of yesteryear.
They are an extremist organisation with a grudge against King Henry VIII ( the welsh king of England!) who compelled courts to conduct hearings in English. Welsh slipped into decline after that. This is the origin of the bitterness which has clouded the judgement of the Welsh Assembly, and some other welsh people in this matter. In reality, most welsh people don't care either way, because they are unaware of the cost of implementing the WLA. Since the true cost is never declared, no one is in a position to even debate it sensibly.
There was no meaningful debate, the first time around, let alone a referrendum by a well-informed Welsh public on the matter. Even so, the Act was passed by Blair's govt. Typically undemocratic.
So, at the risk of being called some kind of 'coconut' we should scrap it and start over with a fresh, well-informed debate to see if, a) can we afford it, and b) what form do we want it to take, and c) do we really want a second act given its potential to bring financial ruin and ridicule on Wales and the Welsh.