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Final EU hurdle to superfast broadband in Cumbria cleared

November 21, 2012 10:00 AM

 (Tim broadad photo1)South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today welcomed the news that the final hurdle to UK's rural rollout of fast broadband has been cleared as the EU has given the £530million scheme the green light following direct intervention by the Culture Secretary. This has been the final obstacle to signing contracts to begin the work of delivering the broadband project in Cumbria.

Tim has been lobbying ministers and Members of the European Parliament to get this decision, and is pleased that the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, has finally intervened to get the go ahead for the this ambitious rural broadband project.

State aid approval means that local authorities can now sign procurement contracts with contractors and begin delivery work on their new broadband infrastructure projects. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has planned a 'pipeline' of local authority projects, the one in Cumbria, which are currently going into procurement at a rate of approximately one a week.

BT will begin the roll out early next year with the mammoth project due for completion in 2014. It is being funded by around £40 million of Government and European money plus a further £30 million investment from BT.

Commenting this morning Tim said: "This is the fantastic news we have all been waiting for - I am absolutely delighted that we have cleared this final hurdle and can now get down to business and start delivering super-fast broadband in Cumbria.

"The county council and BT now need to start working to roll out their plans and I will continue to push them tirelessly to make sure communities throughout Cumbria get the broadband they need and deserve.