Cumbria to spend £2.5m on promoting fast broadband to businesses
Cumbria County Council has announced a multimillion-pound plan to highlight the benefits of super-fast broadband to the business community.
The £2.5 million project is designed to stimulate the take-up of next-generation broadband and ensure the full benefits are enjoyed by small and medium-sized enterprises, according to tender documents seen by the News & Star.
Connecting Cumbria programme manager Alan Cook explained: "The £2.5 million will fund business support. It will make businesses aware of the ways broadband can give them real benefits."
In addition, the tender reveals that the council's super-fast broadband rollout - which will be carried out by BT - is set to bring speeds of 30Mbps to 90 per cent of homes and businesses across the county.
The major broadband deployment is set to commence early next year and is due for completion in 2014.
BT is contributing £30 million to the initiative, while around £40 million is being provided by the government and the EU.
News of the promotional scheme has not been met with a universally positive reception.
Nick Kitto of wireless internet service provider Solway Communications claimed his company could have used the £2.5 million to roll out speeds of up to 250Mbps to at least 90 per cent of local businesses.