Cumbria Businesses are urged to check the connectivity options available to them this Easter 

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With many businesses across Cumbria now using the various improved connectivity options available to them to increase sales, work more efficiently and showcase what they have to offer, there has never been a better time to check to see what options are available in your area.

Almost 95 per cent of homes and businesses across the county can now access superfast broadband speeds of above 30Mbps with over 46 per cent now able to access gigabit speeds.

There are also opportunities to use greater mobile connectivity around the county with current outdoor 4G geographic coverage levels standing at over 90% from at least one mobile provider and 64 per cent from all four major UK network providers.

Troutbeck Camping Pods at Poole Bank Farm situated in the centre of the Lake District National Park is one business who is using improved connectivity to support what they do.  Easter is a busy period at Poole Bank Farm for both their agricultural and luxury camping pod businesses.

We talked to Hannah Towers from Poole Bank Farm about the importance of digital connectivity in supporting what they do.

Hannah said: "I think many businesses like ours, particularly in the tourism industry, will agree that the provision of Wi-Fi services to customers has become an expectation; people want to be able to do the same as they can do from home from their holiday destination.  Our broadband service allows us to offer this.”

“The benefits of our gigabit connection to all aspects of our business have been huge; it supports us in terms of publicity, communication and administration and has made such a difference in terms of productivity and efficient working practices.  We really wouldn’t want to be without it”.  

Councillor Dyan Jones, Digital Champion for Digital Infrastructure, Westmorland and Furness said: “As a council, we fully recognise and acknowledge the importance of good digital connectivity and how vital it is that we continue to focus on improving services for all whether residents, businesses or visitors”.

The Connecting Cumbria team continue to support a number of workstreams to improve connectivity across Cumbria to ensure the county 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 10 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