4g technology brings broadband to northern fells
Following extensive consultation with local broadband Group Northern Fells Broadband (NFB) and local MP Rory Stewart, telecommunications provider Everything Everywhere (EE) have today announced the launch of a 4G fixed and mobile broadband service in Cumbria, bringing high-speed broadband to homes and businesses in one of the UK’s most rural and sparsely-populated areas for the first time. The launch will offer many Northern Fells residents access to average upload and download speeds between 8-12Mbps, and headline speeds over 20Mbps.
The Northern Fells has remained un-served by fibre or other superfast fixed technology up until now due to its rural aspect and challenging topography. The launch will demonstrate the ability of EE’s existing 4G network, running over 1800MHz, to offer the reach, capacity and high speeds necessary to deliver high speed broadband to rural homes and businesses. The deployment will help inform other potential 4G rollouts across rural parts of the UK.
EE is launching the service with its wide variety of existing consumer and business mobile broadband plans, starting from £15.99 per month, and will evaluate usage and behaviour to potentially develop other plans specific to rural customers. 4G home and office devices will be offered to help optimise the high-speed broadband experience for customers in one of the UK’s most rural environments. The service will cover 84% of the population across the Northern Fells by summer 2013.
Rory continues to work with all parties to now try to secure further funding for an additional two or three masts which would help bring broadband coverage to 100% of the Northern Fells population. If successful, this pilot could provide a national model that can be replicated across the country in other remote and rural communities, where providing super-fast broadband – and its widely recognised social and economic benefits – has to date proved unfeasible.
Rory said: “This is a major step forward for my constituents. Superfast broadband is making a massive difference to the way that people live their lives and do business. The 4G trial that started last year has already made a substantial difference to people in the Northern Fells community, and it is a hugely positive step to see this being moved to a full launch over the coming months. EE is a great British business that is investing in sharing the power of connectivity with citizens living in some of the most remote parts of the UK.”
John Grainger, Managing Director at Invest in Cumbria, said: ”Cumbria is an area that has so much to offer, with so much innovation and ambition and so many successful businesses, working locally, nationally, and on a global basis. For many years we have lobbied companies and governments to bridge the digital divide to connect Cumbria, yet a lack of investment and commitment from service providers has for too long left us technologically isolated. EE delivering high speed broadband connectivity to large parts of the Northern Fells is great progress and a big moment for us – this will be a massive benefit to the local community, changing the way we live and do business.”
Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive Officer, EE, said: “Using our dedication to innovation and engineering excellence, we are overcoming the challenges of delivering rural connectivity to launch a 4G mobile broadband service in Cumbria. This is yet another big step in advancing digital communications in the UK. We’re offering one of the fastest mobile networks in the world, and are pioneering how to make superfast broadband available to homes and businesses that currently have little or no connectivity.”
Consumers and businesses in the Northern Fells can register for high speed 4G broadband provided by EE as the service continues to rollout across the region.
For more information, please visit www.ee.co.uk.