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'We need superfast broadband or we could be left behind' says MP

February 27, 2012 1:09 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today publicly called on the County Council to make sure that Cumbria gets the superfast broadband it needs and that the broadband rollout project does not become a 'White Elephant'.

A new report released on Friday, shows thatCumbriahas amongst the slowest internet speeds in theUK. The report published by uSwitch is based on 1.68 million internet speed tests carried out over a six month period. These tests revealed that top speeds in Askam in Furness (1.25Mbps), St Bees, (1.38Mbps) and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea (1.6Mbps) are around six times slower than the national average.

Tim recently called on the Government to makeCumbriathe first area in theUKto have 4G mobile broadband rolled out.

Tim was also a key member of the team that helped secure the original £23.8 million funding from BDUK and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for the roll out of the broadband scheme.

Tim commented: "I am keen to work with the county council to make the broadband project a success, but we need to know what can be expected for communities like Garsdale, Longsleddale or the Langdales. Communities such as these will be very nervous about having target figures, when what they need is a guaranteed minimum speed. Even as a target, 2Mbps is both inadequate and un-ambitious and will not give those communities a future proof broadband connection. Rural Cumbria must not be left behind."