Improved connectivity provides a boost to businesses across Cumbria

Many businesses across Cumbria are now utilising the power of improved connectivity to increase sales, work more efficiently and showcase what they have to offer on a worldwide platform.

More than 94 per cent of homes and businesses across the county can now access superfast broadband speeds of above 30Mbps with 42 per cent now able to access gigabit speeds.

Over 80 per cent of those properties have chosen to upgrade but there are still thousands of Cumbrians who may not realise that they are able to order faster broadband services.

There are also opportunities to use greater mobile connectivity around the county with current outdoor 4G geographic coverage levels standing at over 90 per cent from at least one mobile provider and 64 per cent from all four major UK network providers. Mobile connectivity has been used by many Cumbrian businesses to provide their services flexibly and some businesses use 4G as their main digital connectivity route.

Councillor Dyan Jones, Cabinet Member for Customer and Waste Services and Digital Champion for Digital Infrastructure in Westmorland and Furness, said: “Living in a world where digital connectivity is so important, it is vital that we continue to focus on improving services for all our residents, businesses and visitors.

“There has never been a better time to check and see if and how you can improve connectivity to your property.”

Mia Crossman, who owns and runs South Cumbria-based Yellow Ribbon Gifts, said: “Having a strong, stable and reliable broadband service is key to so much of what I do.

“Cumbria has so much to offer in terms of the services and produce which we provide; being online gives us the opportunity to present these to the wider world. I honestly feel that being online is such a catalyst to the success of businesses nowadays and if you haven’t already explored what this could do for you, then what are you waiting for?”

The push to improve connectivity continues across Cumbria, with the Connecting Cumbria team supporting a number of workstreams to ensure Cumbria becomes a more attractive place to live, run a business, to study and to visit:

  • In Cumbria, UK Government awarded the Project Gigabit contract to Fibrus Ltd, who will be providing wholesale services on the publicly funded infrastructure under the brand Hyperfast GB to up to 60,000 properties across Cumbria by 2026. This contract, which is in delivery phase, has to date served over 2,000 properties across our county. Deployment under this contract will continue until 2026.
  • It is expected that up to 80 per cent of properties around the UK will be covered through the commercial deployment of new gigabit capable infrastructure by a mix of different network companies by the end of 2025. Through a combination of commercial deployments, based upon currently announced plans, and the Project Gigabit delivery we anticipate that gigabit coverage in Cumbria will exceed 99 per cent of properties by 2026.
  • The UK Government Shared Rural Network mobile infrastructure programme is seeking to deliver 95 per cent geographical 4G coverage in the UK from at least one Mobile Network Operator by 2025.
  • The Borderlands Partnership has been established to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the South of Scotland and North of England. The Borderlands has recently been named as one of ten 5G Innovation Regions to share in a £36 million fund from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
  • 5G is a critical emerging technology which will create a range of opportunities for businesses, leisure, transport, service delivery and safety and Cumbria. This continues to be researched across Cumbria.

If you have any questions regarding connectivity in your area, please direct these to info@connectingcumbria.org.uk.


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