Got a question for us?Hopefully we can answer it below. We've put together questions the people of Cumbria have asked most, from technical stuff to what happens next, we've got an answer for you.
Connecting Cumbria is a project to improve access to superfast broadband. It is our aspiration that between deployment under our programme and commercial deployment that 95% of homes and businesses in the county will be able to access superfast broadband by mid-2018.
Connecting Cumbria is a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT that will boost the local economy by supporting the creation and protection of jobs over the next few years. The countyís enterprise zones are a key priority as superfast broadband will help local businesses to become more competitive but will also help spread these services much further for residential use. The project is being funded by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Cumbria County Council and BT.
Most often, public funds tend to be spent in rural areas where there is no existing superfast broadband service.
Fibre broadband is the new generation of broadband - much faster, more reliable and it uses a different technology. Whilst most traditional broadband (known as ADSL) is delivered via copper telephone lines, fibre broadband commonly uses fibre optic cable as part of the link between the customer and the exchange.
Fibre broadband can be delivered in two ways: fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP).
FTTC uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses existing copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC provides wholesale download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps, which are then offered as different service packages by retail Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
FTTP means fibre-optic cables run from the exchange right to the door of each house or business. It provides wholesale download speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds up to 30Mbps, again offered as different service packages by ISPs.
Superfast broadband is being rolled out across Cumbria between 2013 and mid 2018. Enter your postcode into our postcode checker to see if you can get it yet. This will also tell you which telephone exchange area you fall within.
If youíre one of the premises in Cumbria that can connect straightaway, contact your choice of Internet Service Provider to place an order. A list of suppliers can also be found here. Please note that not all of one area will go live on the same day so it's worth checking the website regularly as information is constantly updated.
Weíre planning the rollout, working closely with our partners and participating organisations, taking into account many factors including local demographics and geography, planning requirements, the existing engineering infrastructure and the availability of suitable technologies to provide a service.
Itís not possible with a programme of this size to plan every area at the same time so some areas will be enabled before others. We fully understand people's frustration and the huge importance of superfast broadband so we'll update our information regularly as plans evolve.
Once you've checked your line to confirm superfast broadband is available, it's much the same as ordering normal broadband. There are different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offering the service, so you can shop around and choose the best deal for you. You can see a list of ISPs currently offering fibre broadband in Cumbria here.
If youíve got a query that your Internet Service Provider canít resolve, email email@example.com for local independent advice.
Please see links below to a redacted version of the Connecting Cumbria contract between Cumbria County Council and BT. Commercially sensitive information within the contract has been removed.
We are keen to ensure that broadband service providers are aware of the location of the newly built infrastructure and how to get access to it. Service providers can register with BT Openreach via the website (www.openreach.co.uk) to get this information
It won't. To get superfast broadband, you'll need to place an order with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This is because superfast broadband uses a different technology and an engineer will need to visit your premise to install the necessary equipment.
There are several ISPs offering fibre broadband in Cumbria so you can shop around and choose the package thatís best for you. If you choose not to upgrade to superfast broadband, you'll be able to continue using your existing broadband service as normal.
The exact speeds you'll be able to get will depend on how your own premises are connected. There are two main ways in which fibre optic can be used to bring you fibre broadband:
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP).
FTTC uses fibre-optic cables throughout the network right up to the street cabinet. It then uses copper wires to connect the cabinet to homes and businesses. FTTC provides wholesale download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps.
FTTP means fibre-optic cables run right to the door of each house or business. It provides wholesale download speeds up to 330Mbps and upload speeds up to 30Mbps.
The exact speed you get also depends on a number of additional factors like the length of your line from the telephone exchange or green roadside cabinet, the line quality and the equipment and internal wiring within your premise. The internet service provider package you select may also affect the speed available. Connecting Cumbria is working to ensure that everyone gets as fast a speed as possible given their geographical location.
Information on new areas of availability has to be released to all Internet Service Providers on an equivalent basis and that's why new areas are only announced as part of this national process when they go live.
Also, engineering plans and delivery timescales do depend on factors such as planning applications, the provision of electricity to the new roadside cabinets and even the good old British weather.
Phase 1 of the programme was funded by Cumbria County Council, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and BT.
Phase 2 of the programme is being funded by the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and BT.
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), who manage the National Broadband Scheme which Connecting Cumbria is part of, has confirmed that the current broadband delivery programme and priorities remain unchanged. While the UK remains a member of the EU and the single market, the existing state aid rules apply, and European funding programmes also continue to operate.
It remains a high priority for BDUK that existing delivery continues to plan, and change requests and new procurements for additional coverage are completed according to the current timetables to support our target of achieving 95% UK superfast coverage by December 2017. All works will need to be consistent with the existing relevant State aid requirements approved by the European Commission.
Fibre is deployed by Openreach for many different reasons, e.g. Ethernet, Private/ dedicated networks as well as broadband. Ethernet services are usually point to point because of capacity i.e. the size / speed of the link or for security (may not be able to share traffic). Private and dedicated links are often bought by public bodies and private companies as part of their private network; for example an NHS link to the doctors. For reasons of security such links would not be identified for fear of someone accessing them without authority.
The project will use spare capacity within the infrastructure where that is feasible. Because Ethernet is delivered to a property it does not mean there is necessarily spare capacity. That may be a high bandwidth circuit or it may have used all available existing ducting and was delivered before the Connecting Cumbria project commenced. As part of our detailed design, Openreach undertake a detailed survey to confirm capacity in the existing infrastructure and then cost the implementation of any extra ducting/ cabling required. That will be done for each community in due course.