Digital technology

Cumbria Council calls for more people to take up improved broadband

Cumbria County Council’s ‘Connecting Cumbria’ programme is encouraging more people to take up their services to access quicker broadband speeds.

The council said that it will help to make people and businesses feel more connected, as well as benefitting the local economy through a more efficient and reliable digital network.

Connecting Cumbria programme’s aim is to continue improving the digital services and opportunities available in Cumbria and as more people take up services to improve their connectivity, the greater the benefit to the whole county’s digital infrastructure.

Take up of infrastructure improvement services delivered through the programme also triggers a payback of funding to the council for reinvestment in further digital connectivity improvements.

So far, £2.5m has already been reinvested in delivering superfast broadband services to rural and low-speed areas.

The Connecting Cumbria team is developing proposals to use further funding to support the delivery of futureproof gigabit-capable broadband in other low speed areas across the county.

Through a combination of the work delivered by the Connecting Cumbria programme and commercial providers, approximately 94% of properties in Cumbria can currently access superfast broadband services above 30Mbps download. 

However, the council said that some people may not fully appreciate the benefits of superfast broadband to a home or business, or may not have realised what they need to do to access improved services.

A superfast broadband connection provides a faster and more reliable internet connection, enabling multiple users within a home or business to access the internet, download documents, music and video and stream high-definition television without buffering, things that may not be possible with a standard broadband connection.

Upgrading to superfast broadband is not automatic and customers need to contact their chosen service provider to upgrade to fibre-based broadband.

Cumbria County Council is urging people to shop around for the best deal or to contact the Connecting Cumbria programme team directly to find out what services and opportunities to improve connectivity are available in their local area.

Commenting, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Councillor David Southward said: “The value of fast broadband connections to businesses and homes in Cumbria cannot be overstated.

“Tourism, the food retail industry and many other small businesses need quick and reliable connections so that instead of having to search endlessly for customers, the customers find them.

“Connecting Cumbria has helped thousands of local people and businesses benefit from improved broadband speeds and now we want to reach even more people and continue building a reliable and efficient network that benefits our local economy and helps people to stay connected.”

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