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MP helps secure more broadband funding

February 25, 2014 1:32 PM

 (Tim broadad photo1)South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed an extra £2.86 million of government money for superfast broadband will help business start-ups and job creation in some of Cumbria's hardest to reach rural areas.

Tim has repeatedly called on Cumbria County Council to bid for more funding to pilot alternative broadband technologies to help hook up the most remote areas to broadband.

The current rural programme will deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested, representing tremendous value for money. As well as improvements in the productivity of broadband- firms, faster broadband will create an additional 56,000 jobs in the UK by 2024.

The government also recently committed £10 million to look at ways to reach those areas in the "final 5 per cent". Potential technologies that could be piloted under this fund include:

  • Using 4G mobile signal to deliver 'fixed wireless' superfast broadband'.
  • Using fibre direct to premises.
  • Taking fibre from broadband cabinets to a distribution point further down the network, increasing speeds by reducing the reliance on copper.
  • Satellite technology.

The fund will open on 17 March 2014 and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is asking local authorities to offer support to these pilot projects.

Tim said: "I have lobbied the Government to make sure that no community is left behind and that extra funds are offered to make this possible. I have pressed and pressed the Government to take the necessary steps to ensure that rural communities, such as South Lakeland, are allowed to remain viable by providing them with access to a high quality, fast broadband service. I hope that the nearly £3 million we have been able to secure will help do that. But we can and must do more and I will keep fighting for even more broadband funding."

"Together, we need to work and focus on the hardest to reach communities and I hope that Cumbria will bid for some of this funding and help make sure every community gets broadband."