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Farron meets with Vodafone to bring mobile broadband trial to Cumbria

May 23, 2012 12:25 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today met with Vodafone to push ahead with innovative plans to plug the gaps in Cumbrian mobile broadband coverage.

After a national bidding process Witherslack has been shortlisted to receive a huge boost in its mobile coverage. Vodafone's Open Femto trials will see local communities with poor access boasting their mobile internet coverage by piggy backing on existing broadband connections. Vodafone officials are set to visit Witherslack, after it was shortlisted from an original 100 applicants to one of 12.

Tim Farron lobbied Vodafone to shortlist Witherslack earlier in the year and today had a productive meeting with Vodafone officials and with David Ingram from Witherslack parish council, to push ahead with the plans. Current plans would see the trials begin well before the end of this year.

Commenting, Tim said: "This is great news for Witherslack and for South Lakes. Thanks to the hard work of David Ingram and local people in Witherslack, we're very close to making mobile broadband a reality for this community. Vodafone are keen to go ahead because they've seen that there is a huge need for mobile broadband in our area and they've met the local people who want to make it a reality.

"I've been campaigning to get better internet access in Cumbria and it's fantastic that we're now seeing small scale pilots like this one spring up and take root. But what is even more crucial for Cumbria's growth is that we work in partnership with the government, the telephone companies and Ofcom to make good internet and mobile coverage the norm and not the exception in Cumbria."