The Government has announced a boost of £16.8million to improve Cumbria’s broadband network is just ‘the starting point’, according to a key business expert.
The government cash was greeted with elation by MPs across the area, who have fought vigorously to increase Internet speeds in the region.
A ‘Broadband map’ was released by Ofcom last week, detailing overall performance across the UK. It was revealed that Cumbria had a lower rating than a lot of other rural regions, including the Shetland Isles, Devon, Cornwall and Argyll!
Furness MP John Woodcock said: “Faster broadband coverage cannot come soon enough - slow internet speeds is a significant barrier to economic growth in Cumbria.”
Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: “I hope the money we have secured will allow us to fund real projects on the ground - the hub coordinators will now be able to use the funding to make a real difference to the South Lakes.”
Rob Johnston, chief executive of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said that European funding could become available for extra improvement to take place.
“This money is going to make an absolutely massive difference,” he said.
“It gets us on a level playing field with other areas and creates the opportunity for our businesses to have a quality online presence to make money.”
Mr Johnston added that Cumbria County Council is looking at providers to help roll out the project and extra benefits could come about as companies jostle to be picked.
“Cumbria can now lead the way nationally in solving rural broadband problems.”
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