Have your say on gigabit broadband rollout in Cumbria

Businesses in Cumbria have until March 9 to comment on proposals to roll out gigabit broadband in the county.

The Government has pledged £5bn through the UK Gigabit Programme to ensure that all areas benefit from the fastest-possible broadband speeds.

Cumbria is one of the places where subsidy is needed because, as things stand, broadband providers plan to offer gigabit connectivity to fewer than half the county’s 285,000 homes and businesses over the next three years.

Follow this link to a map and postcode checker to see if your business is in area earmarked for gigabit connectivity and to find more about the consultation, which aims to identify the areas targeted for government investment.

Suzanne Caldwell, Managing Director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “If your business is in area that isn’t earmarked for gigabit – the white areas on the map – then it may be worth responding to the consultation, especially if fast broadband is critical to your competitiveness.

“This isn’t only an issue for rural areas. Whitehaven and much of Carlisle city centre won’t get gigabit connectivity without government intervention.”

She added: “We’re keen that as much of Cumbria as possible can access the fastest broadband speeds.

“It’s important for the businesses that are here now and crucial if we’re to attract businesses that are looking, post Covid, to move out of London or other large cities to areas with lower costs and a better quality of life.

“That’s an opportunity for Cumbria but having good digital connectivity, especially broadband, is essential to attract businesses like these.”

Businesses can respond to the Department for Culture Media and Sport consultation by emailing cumbria-pr-responses@dcms.gov.uk by March 9.

© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce