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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Yanwath spearheads roll-out of superfast broadband

The switch was finally flicked today in the first village to go live with a £70 million superfast broadband project covering rural Cumbria.

Yanwath broadband photo
David Southward, left and Bill Murphy

In the first wave of the Connecting Cumbria programme, Yanwath, near Penrith, has got an upgraded telecommunications system which will be rolled out across the county over the next two years.

It is the first village to get broadband of at least 24Mbps which will eventually cover 10,000 properties across Cumbria.

Run by the county council and BT, Connecting Cumbria aims to provide superfast broadband to properties not served by BT’s commercially-driven system.

David Southward, who is in charge of Connecting Cumbria for the county council, and Bill Murphy, of BT, switched the broadband on with help from village primary school pupils.

Yanwath is the first rural community to benefit from the multi-million pound Connecting Cumbria partnership between the county council and BT. As a result, villagers will be able to enjoy some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country.

The Connecting Cumbria Project, funded by ERDF and BDUK, aims to ensure that at least 93 per cent of Cumbrian homes and businesses can access superfast broadband of speeds of 24Mbps and above by the end of 2015.

The scheme has been hit with repeated delays but the upgrade finally began in earnest during the summer.

This first batch of work covers six areas including Carlisle, Penrith, Maryport and Workington, followed by Allonby, Brampton, Cockermouth, Harrington, Hayton, Lazonby, Rockcliffe, Southwaite and Wetheral.

Mr Southward said the completion of the first engineering work has been “a significant milestone.”

A third group of communities have had some computer modelling of broadband delivery and are due to get engineers carrying out survey work. They include: Abbeytown, Alston, Annan, Appleby, Aspatria, Brough, Burgh by Sands, Calthwaite, Dalston, Gretna, Hallbankgate, Keswick, Kirkbride, Kirkby Thore, Longtown, Low Ireby, Silloth and Wigton.

Smaller communities and those areas likely to represent challenging problems for fibre delivery will be tackled later in the two-and-a-half year programme. They include: Armathwaite, Bampton, Bassenthwaite, Borrowdale, Caldbeck, Canonbie, Croglin, Crosby-on-Eden, Gilsland, Greystoke, Kirklinton, Langwathby, Orton, Pooley Bridge, Roadhead, Shap, Skelton and Threlkeld.

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