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Rory Stewart MP welcomes arrival of fibre broadband in Cumbrian village

Wednesday, August 26th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

The village of Langwathby has become the latest rural Cumbrian community to get access to fibre broadband as part of the region’s superfast rollout.

Residents and businesses can now order fibre broadband after the installation of the first street cabinet serving the centre of the village.

A further three cabinets are planned for the village later in the year.

Local MP Rory Stewart (Con – Penrith and the Border) congratulated local superfast rollout project Connecting Cumbria for hit “impressive targets” in the rollout of fibre in the region.

Speaking on a visit to Lambkins day nursery at a working farm in Langwathby, Mr Stewart said: “It’s brilliant to see Langwathby as one of the latest of Penrith and the Border’s communities to be connected.

“I’m particularly pleased to visit the Lambkins nursery, and to chat to the Esh Group about their new housing development and their understanding of the need for new houses to be connected.”

His visit highlighted the “benefits to all generations” of living in a superfast community.

“Children, parents, grandparents and businesses all benefit from fibre broadband, and I want to see Langwathby as symbolic of why we want to encourage people to stay on in this part of Cumbria and enjoy the same benefits and speeds of urban areas, whilst bringing up their families in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.”

Connecting Cumbria, a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT, is making fibre available to around an extra 3,900 Cumbrian homes and businesses every month.

So far, more than 93,000 premises can access faster internet speeds from 59 telephone exchange areas across the county as part of Phase 1 of the programme, which is due to be completed by the end of the year.

'Fantastic speeds'

Councillor David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member responsible for economic development, said: “The rollout of superfast broadband across Cumbria is bringing immense opportunities to services, businesses and residents.

“Our county council-led Connecting Cumbria project to build a fibre network around the county is ahead of schedule, literally connecting the county to the world.

“Fibre broadband will open the doors to countless business opportunities in the county, boosting the rural economy and supporting thriving local communities.”

He urged people to talk to their internet service providers to check whether they could get access to fibre.

“There’s some great opportunities to upgrade to fantastic speeds for not much money,” he said.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s north west regional director, added: “BT’s superfast partnership with the county council combined with our commercial rollout of high-speed broadband means that 77% of Cumbria now has access to faster fibre broadband.

“Our Openreach engineers are working hard to reach almost 4,000 more premises every month.

“This first phase, totalling a £51m investment, has so far seen two thirds of connections deliver more than 50Mbps and many are capable of speeds up to 80Mbps.

“This means that Cumbrians are now connected to wider opportunities for work, services and education globally.“

Connecting Cumbria is also running a digital inclusion roadshow to ouline the benefits of fibre broadband for homes and businesses and to show people how to sign up with a broadband service provider.

Pictured are Cllr David Southward and Rory Stewart MP with children from Lambkins nursery.

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