Our vision is that everyone in Cumbria – every resident, business, organisation and visitor – has access to superfast broadband. We want every house and business in Cumbria to have a choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP) at a cost that is no higher than that paid by consumers anywhere in the country. Our ambition is that at least 90 per cent of properties in the county have access to superfast broadband by 2015.
What is superfast broadband?
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the government body responsible for delivering superfast broadband, defines it as access to speeds of at least 30 megabits per second (Mbps).
Superfast broadband can bring many opportunities and benefits: easier and more efficient ways to do business, better communications with family and friends, different ways of receiving public services, being able to work from home or access education, and more online shopping and entertainment options.
How will this benefit people and businesses in the county?
Fast and affordable broadband will help improve the quality of life and opportunities available to people who live, work and study in Cumbria. This will mean:
it is more efficient for organisations to deliver services and easier for members of the public to access them
improved competitiveness and productivity of Cumbrian businesses – helping support the growth of the county’s economy
better communications and links within and between communities
How will we make this happen?
use the public funding we’ve received to focus on areas that commercial markets won’t reach by themselves
use a mix of technologies to meet the needs of different communities
deliver speeds that meet the needs of local people and businesses
bring connections to central locations in communities, called community broadband hubs
work with local communities to connect homes and businesses to community broadband hubs in areas where it isn’t viable for commercial providers to do this
encourage demand for broadband amongst communities and businesses. This will also show investors and commercial organisations that there is a market for their services
do all we can to attract a high level of investment from the private and public sector to deliver the best broadband solution we can
Initially the focus will be on delivering the Connecting Cumbria project. This project involves recruiting a commercial organisation to work with us to upgrade the infrastructure so that more areas can benefit from superfast broadband.
The project is intended to be delivered by 2015 and will focus investment on areas the commercial market does not currently supply. This will make it possible for communities, often in rural areas, which won’t be reached by the market itself to access superfast broadband. Delivery will be supported by funding and resources provided by BDUK, Cumbria County Council, the private sector, and others.
What we want to achieve
We’ll know this project has been a success when:
At least 90% of properties in Cumbria will have access to a connection of at least 30mb/s by 2015
Where a 30mb/s connection is not available we will ensure that properties in Cumbria have access to an internet connection of at least 2mb/s