Rural Broadband

In almost no time at all broadband seems to have become as important to our lives as hot running water. Perhaps we may be getting a little carried away to make such comparisons, however it is true to say that high speed internet connections are very important.

Next Generation Access or (NGA) is seen as being very important indeed for the economic future. However, some remote areas may find that it is very difficult to get access to fast broadband. The main problem is of cost – in sparsely populated areas it is often not economical for private companies to broadband, even when they are working in collaboration with government.

If we live in an urban, suburban or densely populated rural area it is often easy to get O2 Broadband or a connection from any number of rival companies. One area in the UK that faces the problem of uneconomical super-fast broadband is Cumbria in the North of England. Although England is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the north of the country is still rather sparsely populated. Cumbria, home of the Lake District made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, is one of these counties.

Luckily, there is a campaign that has been organised with the express purpose of expanding broadband across the county and eradicating so called ‘notspots’ (areas where there is not any broadband, unlike hotspots where there is plentiful supply). To increase connectivity, the Broadband Cumbria campaign is collaborating with the county’s Member of Parliament, Rory Stewart, and working with communities at a parish level .

Key to Broadband Cumbria is their Eden Declaration – a living document that lays out the county’s aims for increasing connectivity. One great example of a small village that got connected is Great Asby where wireless transmitters were attached to the church steeple and an old tree on a prominent hill. Started in 2005 this subscription, not-for-profit project has connected 58 village households to the internet and aims to increase this on an ongoing basis.

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