Published: 22nd Jun 2016
A new map detailing the rollout of super-fast broadband in Cumbria has been released, but uncertainty still remains about the project.
Connecting Cumbria - the government and BT initiative tasked with improving connectivity in the region - has published the new map after a previous version was criticised by the Public Accounts Committee for not being detailed enough.
While the latest effort is an improvement on its predecessor, it is still seen as lacking in sufficient detail to tell local residents how they will be affected by the super-fast rollout. The map provides a good overview of the county but does not include roads and landmarks such as water features, which could help people pinpoint their exact location.
There is also a lack of street-level postcode information, although campaign group the Grasmere Broadband Initiative has made a Freedom of Information Request asking for this to be revealed.
The subject of broadband in Cumbria has proved controversial, with many people unhappy with elements of the project. February saw the Grasmere Broadband Initiative write to the Public Accounts Committee complaining about the lack of information regarding the rollout and asking for action to be taken.
In October, the MP for Barrow and Furness John Woodcock told the North West Evening Mail connections in his constituency were "prehistorically slow", while figures from the Office for National Statistics show nearly 16 per cent of people in the region have never used the internet.
The lack of information surrounding the rollout of super-fast broadband is a problem that is replicated in a number of areas across the UK. This leaves people unsure of if and when they will receive an upgraded service and many turn to alternative technologies like satellite broadband instead.
BT has often been held accountable for the shortage of details surrounding its super-fast rollout, but the company has claimed the decision about whether to reveal information or not is in the hands of local authorities.
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