Connecting Cumbria Newsletter

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Connecting Cumbria newsletter. 

The first quarter of 2016 has been a great start for the programme, we have exceeded our phase 1 premises passed contract target and are working on deploying fibre services to more residents and businesses in Cumbria.

This month we provide you with an update on progress made to date on the programme, review the recent SME breakfast meeting with Nicola Millard, take a look at the ‘go live’ of the 500th cab in Kirkoswald, talk to the community of Aspatria where fibre broadband is now available, and provide you with an update on our Digital Inclusion programme.

Deployment Update

Connecting Cumbria - Phase 1 Deployment Map

Like the rest of Cumbria our programme has some recovering to do after the Storm Desmond flooding but due the hard work our delivery partner BT, Highways Agency colleagues and many others our deployment kept going and we have achieved our contract target of covering more than 115,780 properties but we aren’t stopping there! Through efficiency savings in our programme we have been able to plan and start work a number of additional structures which should allow phase 1 of our programme to reach many more premises in the county.

As at 30th March our programme has made fibre broadband accessible to more than 119,000 properties and combined with the progress of commercial deployment programmes more than 88% of properties in the county can now access fibre broadband services.

However, many people still don’t realise that they need to act to benefit from fibre speeds. This doesn't happen automatically, so it is important that residents know that they need to contact an Internet Service Provider to upgrade their service. As many have not reviewed their packages in some time, there are many occasions where people are finding that it doesn't cost any extra to upgrade so we certainly recommend shopping around – some residents have even saved money!

Please check at http://www.connectingcumbria.org.uk/when-and-where to see if you can upgrade then contact your chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP) to place an order.

If fibre broadband is not yet available in your area; please register your interest, again via our website, and we will notify you automatically when services become available.


Business Innovation over Breakfast

Feb Breakfast event

Connecting Cumbria teamed up with In-Cumbria to welcome Nicola Millard, head of customer insight & futures, BT Global Innovation team at their business breakfast event on February 23 at Tullie House in Carlisle.

Speaking to an audience of over 40 local businesses, Nicola gave an insight into the transformations that are set to take place in the workplace, and an insight into how Cumbrian businesses can make the most of digital opportunities available across the county using the new superfast infrastructure.

To read more visit http://www.in-cumbria.com/Futurologist-tells-business-leaders-dont-be-command-and-controllers-c27d9094-65dd-4a0f-831e-6cb585653cf3-ds


500th Fibre Broadband Cabinet Goes Live in Kirkoswald

Kirkoswald

The Connecting Cumbria programme has marked a major milestone in its roll-out of high-speed fibre broadband in the county with the 500th green fibre broadband cabinet ‘going live’ in Main Street, Kirkoswald.

We spoke to Alan Collinson, owner of the Fetherston Arms pub in the village who welcomes the arrival of fibre broadband.  “Before superfast fibre we were only getting speeds of around 2Mbps in the pub, now we’re getting blistering speeds of over 70Mbps!  Contractors working in the area have been coming in to use our wi-fi, which is increasing our passing trade and the regulars have been commenting on how much faster the wi-fi is since we upgraded”.

Tony Borgogno, of the Crown Inn mirrored these comments.  He is looking forward to being able to do more online with his family when his high-speed fibre broadband is installed.  Tony told us “I shopped around to upgrade to the fibre service and managed to get a deal which means it’ll actually be cheaper each month than it was before fibre!”

To read more on this, visit http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/news/2016/february/01_03_2016-111446.asp


Digital Inculsion

The Connecting Cumbria Digital Inclusion programme which is being delivered with the help of the parish broadband champions and hub coordinators across the county in communities where superfast broadband services have gone live continues to go from strength to strength. Events are focussed on raising awareness of the new services and looking at the benefits the internet and superfast broadband can offer.

Events are currently confirmed in Tebay 31st March, Beckermet 5th April and Cleator Moor 19th April.  Further dates are anticipated to be confirmed shortly please visit http://www.connectingcumbria.org.uk/digital-inclusion for details.

If you would like to join one of the above, or volunteer to help organise an event in your area, please contact the team at info@connectingcumbria.org.uk.