Uncertainty still surrounds Cumbria broadband information header image

Published: 25th Feb 2014

A high degree of uncertainty still surrounds the rollout of super-fast broadband in Cumbria. 

The Connecting Cumbria project, which is being implemented by BT with state funding, aims to bring high speeds to the majority of the county, but the exact details of when and where the improvements will take place are yet to be revealed.

Campaign group the Grasmere Broadband Initiative has recently released a series of emails that were sent between local politicians in the area, which show there is still a high degree of uncertainty about whether BT or Cumbria County Council are responsible for withholding information regarding the rollout.

In an email sent by Jim Savege, corporate director of environment and community services at Cumbria County Council, it was revealed the local authority has been working with BT since August in a bid to disclose details of the project. 

This is despite Sean Williams, director of strategy at BT, telling a January Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting the company has no objection to this information being released and the decision lies with local councils.

As a result of the confusion, Martin Campbell of the Grasmere Broadband Initiative has written to PAC chair Margaret Hodge in a bid to clarify the situation.

"It seems a nonsense that on the one hand both BT and the Department for Culture Media and Sport say at your meeting that this information will be made available, but in practice it is being withheld by Cumbria County Council/BT on the ground in Cumbria," he stated.

As one of the most rural areas of the UK, Cumbria is desperately in need of improved broadband and people need to know when and if they stand to be included in BT and the council's rollout.

Local residents who do not benefit from the scheme or require a faster connection immediately should consider satellite broadband. Available now, this technology can provide speeds of up to 20 Mbps and is ideal for rural and remote areas as all it needs to function is a small satellite dish and modem.