I want Cumbria to have the best super-fast broadband network in Europe. Our aim has always been to try and see super-fast fibre broadband installed in the vast majority of our homes and businesses by the end of 2015. But the hard work does not end there: I don’t want to see any home left behind, which is why we have here in Fell End in Penrith and The Border, pioneered a community ‘build-and-benefit’ model, involving the community, government and the private sector, to create a replicable business case that means every remote area of the UK will be able to secure for themselves all the social and economic benefits that broadband offers. The primary obstacle to economic growth in Cumbria is isolation. Isolation has an enormous impact on both a business’ access to service provisions, and on its access to market. For the first time in history, we have developed a technology which allows us to overcome this barrier, and nothing can consequently make a greater single contribution to Cumbria’s economy, growth, or services than broadband.

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Rory Stewart with Adrian Quine and broadband activists

Rory launches British Online Retailing Association

A committed broadband activist, Rory on Saturday 14 April launched the UK’s first national trade association specifically for online businesses – BritORA (British Online Retailing Association) – alongside local business owners, Cumbria’s High Sheriff Iona Frost-Pennington, Graham Jeal of the NFU, East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum (ECCBF) representative Libby Bateman, and Bill Murphy of national telecomms […]

Rory welcomes Cybermoor’s tenth anniversary as its fibre-optic Community Share Offer raises funds for infrastructure development

Rory has congratulated Alston Moor’s Cybermoor – “the UK’s first rural fibre-optic community” – on its tenth anniversary, as it enters an exciting new phase of broadband development. Residents and businesses of England’s highest market town on remote Alston Moor in Rory Stewart’s Cumbrian constituency are in line to receive high-speed fibre connections for the […]


Local farmers pilot stock movement App in latest broadband initiative

In the latest chapter of his campaign to improve super-fast and mobile broadband for Cumbria, Rory in conjunction with Terry Canning of farming software company FarmWizard has secured a new mobile phone application trial for Penrith and the Border’s dairy farmers. FarmWizard, who have been developing cloud-computing solutions for livestock dairy farmers since 2004, will […]


internet at the heart of cumbrian economy

“Let’s put Cumbria at the heart of the Internet economy,” says Rory.Rory has called upon Cumbria to make the most of its investment in broadband infrastructure. This comes in the wake of new research by AT Kearney, the consultancy, valuing the UK Internet economy at £82bn a year.This is equivalent to 6 per cent of […]


rory breaks ground at warcop cyberbarn

Rory attended an opening event at Warcop’s Cyberbarn, where he officially began the 1-mile fibre dig to the village, intended to bring hyperfast connectivity to this UK Online Outreach Centre and its neighbours. Rory met with Cyberbarn users and supporters, and helped splice the fibre-optic cable that will be used to connect this remote part […]


broadband campaign – early access to fibre

Rory’s broadband campaign had a welcome boost following announcements from BT that two-thirds of UK premises are to have access to fibre broadband one year earlier than expected. The telecomms company has announced that ‪520 new engineers – most of them ex-armed forces – are to be recruited to work on the laying of fibre, […]


microsoft donations

Rory, who is leading a national campaign for rural broadband, has applauded donations of software by industry giant Microsoft to charities in the region. The local MP said, “what matters is that in addition to installing broadband, we get the best possible use from it. Local charities can derive huge benefits from technology. Microsoft committed […]


broadband industry day

Following confirmation of news that Cumbria is to receive £16.8 million to go towards rural broadband initiatives, Rory chaired a unique ‘industry day’ on Friday at Plumpton’s Stonybeck Inn, bringing together the best of Cumbria’s community broadband groups with representatives of the tele-communications industry, many of whom had travelled far and wide to attend the […]


£16.8 million pounds for broadband in cumbria

Rory has welcomed news of the government’s confirmation of £16.8 million pounds for broadband improvements in Cumbria. The news comes just hours before Rory will chair a Broadband Industry Day, where representatives of the world’s major telecom companies – including BT, Fujitsu, Cable & Wireless and Cisco – will visit Penrith to meet with local […]


backbenchers fight and win a battle for the future of rural britain

The House of Commons voted unanimously yesterday  to push the government to provide mobile and broadband coverage for two million more people, particularly in rural areas. The surprise vote, led by Rory, attracted over a hundred signatures to the motion in four days (more than for any motion, debated on the floor of the House of Commons, in living […]