BT Regions

Demand for high-speed fibre broadband soars with Connecting Cumbria

Press release   •   Jul 21, 2016 16:12 BST

More 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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Press contact:Please contact Janet Hare in the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

Notes to Editors:

About Connecting Cumbria

Since October 2013, the Connecting Cumbria project – a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT - has enabled more than 550 fibre broadband cabinets, with more being switched on every day. More than 120,000 households and businesses now have access to fibre as a result of the project.

The Connecting Cumbria Programme’s ambition will, by a combination of commercial investment and gap funding, enable access to Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband to 95 per cent of Cumbrian homes and businesses when added to the private sector’s commercial rollout. And Connecting Cumbria is providing two thirds of its rollout with speeds of more than 50 mbps.

There is, in addition, a commitment that all Cumbrian properties will have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps by some means by the end of the programme. This includes working with some of Cumbria’s remotest communities to extend the fibre network through innovative community projects in the hardest to reach areas.

Connecting Cumbria will ensure maximum coverage is achieved from available resources, demonstrating maximum value for money. Cumbria County Council has a continuing commitment to expand NGA broadband services and make NGA broadband service available to additional areas across Cumbria as funding becomes available.

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
  • Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

    For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com