I want Cumbria to have the best super-fast broadband network in Europe. I don’t want to see any home left behind, which is why we, 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 markets. 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 promotes cumbrian broadband at cross-party MPs’ conference

Rory updated delegates on advances in Cumbrian broadband, joining five of Cumbria’s six MPs at the DODS conference “Cumbria 2012 and Beyond” at Carlisle Racecourse on Friday. The Westminster representatives met alongside Cumbria’s local authorities and businesses, the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, and various other local organisations in a wide-ranging event that sought to address […]

a call to vote: penrith and the border nominee in final of nw digital heroes award

Chris Elphick of Ravenstonedale Parish Council and its Fell End Community Broadband project have reached the final for a TalkTalk Digital Heroes award. Cumbrians who are interested should register their vote in the national competition to find a local ‘digital hero’ for the north-west. TalkTalk’s search for the nation’s Digital Heroes has discovered three worthy […]

Rory calls on local business support for broadband at Chamber of Commerce lunch

At a conference lunch on Friday organised by Cumbria’s Chamber of Commerce at Shap Wells Hotel, Rory asked for local businesses to support his efforts to get better broadband provision for the county, in what he described as “the single most important factor to improving Cumbria’s economy”. The event brought together businesses, educational institutions and […]

Broadband’s Next Big Step

At last. The broadband contract for Cumbria has been awarded. Good broadband and mobile coverage can transform farms and businesses, improve conditions for the isolated and the elderly, and much more. Nothing would make a greater single contribution to our economy, growth, or services. But it has been painfully difficult to deliver. Companies won’t do […]


Rory heralds “giant step” in Cumbria broadband campaign

Rory has heralded the new 41 Million contract for broadband in Cumbria as a ‘giant step’ in his three year campaign to win Cumbria the best rural broadband in Europe. He welcomed the investment decision, saying ‘we need now to get broadband to people as soon as possible – it is vital for our rural […]

Rory Backs Remote Rural Community Blazing a Fibre Trail

Rory has welcomed news that the Fell End Rural Community Broadband Project – based in a small corner of Ravenstonedale Parish – has sent out its Invitation to Tender and is now close to going out to procurement, which will ultimately connect an isolated community of 58 properties, covering an area of approximately 10 square miles, to […]

Rory encourages constituent entries to TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards

Rory is encouraging constituents to participate in this year’s Digital Heroes Awards, following on from his successful nomination last year of East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum chairman Libby Bateman, who won the top prize for the north-west region. The Digital Heroes Awards, run in partnership with the Daily Mirror and charities Citizens Online and Go […]


Rory’s campaign for rural mobile coverage in 4G triumph

Rory’s long parliamentary campaign to bring mobile coverage to rural areas celebrated a milestone today, as telecoms regulator Ofcom unveiled plans for the auction of fourth generation (4G) bandwidth for mobile phone services. The long-awaited sales process comes as a direct result of Rory’s historic Backbench Business Committee debate in May 2011, when he introduced […]