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Demand for fibre broadband soars with Connecting Cumbria

Openreach engineer Russ Graves at one of the roadside cabinets
Openreach engineer Russ Graves at one of the roadside cabinets

[M]ore people in Cumbria are signing up for high-speed fibre broadband than ever before thanks to the work of Connecting Cumbria.

Connecting Cumbria – a multi-million pound partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT – has made fibre-optic broadband technology available to more than 120,000 homes and businesses across the county.

And figures announced today show the number of homeowners and businesses using the faster connections in the Connecting Cumbria area more than doubled in the past year with 29.5 per cent now signed up to a fibre broadband package compared to 13.8 per cent just 12 months ago.

David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for economic development, said: “Fibre broadband is transforming the lives of people in Cumbria. So much we do these days relies on a fast internet connection whether we’re at home or at work.

“And demand for better, faster broadband in Cumbria is clear – in the past year twice as many homes and businesses have signed-up to use the new technology installed as part of the Connecting Cumbria programme. To check availability in your area visit www.connectingcumbria.org.uk”

Some of the most recent areas to benefit from the fibre broadband rollout include Wigton, Pooley Bridge, Dockray and Grayrigg.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director for the North West, said: “We are delighted the rollout in Cumbria is proving to be so popular. It’s great to see the benefits of all the hard work of the programme coming to life through the number of people who are now taking advantage of the high speeds. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people use the internet.

“When combined with our commercial rollout, around 90 per cent of Cumbrian homes and businesses are now able to access fibre broadband and we are continuing to work hard to increase this figure every day.”

Fibre broadband helps make everything happen online much faster than a standard broadband connection. The technology offers download speeds up to 80Mbps.

All of the engineering work as part of Connecting Cumbria is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business. This means residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband can choose from a wide range of internet service providers and benefit from competitive pricing and products.

When an area has gone ‘live’ for fibre, people need to contact their service provider to upgrade as it doesn’t happen automatically. Because the network is ‘open’, they have a wide choice of fibre broadband providers.

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