Rory celebrates 4G trial success in his constituency


Rory, who helped bring an experimental 4G mobile broadband trial to residents of Threlkeld in his constituency earlier this year, joined local residents and business owners to hear about their successful broadband experiences at an event on Tuesday at the Threlkeld Cricket Club.

More than 50 residents from a number of local businesses – including a regional office of United Utilities, the Blencathra Field Studies Centre, the King Kong Climbing Wall, Walker Ellis, and local web developers  – have been participating in the trial. The event was also attended by the Cumbria Constabulary, Kewsick Mountain Rescue, Threlkeld Parish Council, Northern Fells Broadband Committee and the Broadband Stakeholder Group, amongst others.

Speaking at the event, Rory said: “It’s fantastic to see local businesses flourishing as a result of this infrastructure, and I am delighted to see enterprises as diverse as the Blencathra Field Studies Centre, and Keswick Web Design, to local Bed and Breakfasts to leisure activity operators such as King Kong Climbing Walls, benefiting from this. Yet again, Cumbria is at the forefront of innovation and most importantly our local businesses and residents are finally able to access fast, reliable internet. This technology has the potential to allow people here in Penrith and the Border to get the most from their mobile phones when introduced – from children accessing study aids, to farmers monitoring their stock levels, to our local mountain rescue teams using better communications to help those in need. And I am especially encouraged to hear that the success of this trial means that the technology is likely to be rolled out further afield – potentially benefiting even more constituents in the very near future.”

Employees of various local businesses in the Threlkeld area are testing 4G using both dongles and routers. The trial is achieving speeds of 20 Mpbs, allowing businesses to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity. The area, which was personally proposed by Rory, was selected as the location for the trial as it currently has insufficient or unreliable broadband. Residents have warmly welcomed the new service, saying it is providing significantly improved connectivity that is benefiting them personally and professionally.

Paul Ward, King Kong Climbing Walls, said: “The trial has significantly improved how we work and communicate with our clients day-today, particularly through faster download and upload speeds, as we were previously subject to slow and intermittent mobile broadband coverage. If Everything Everywhere is able to launch 4G this year, it will be very encouraging for rural areas and business across the country.”

James Walker, Walker Ellis Associates Ltd: “Since joining the 4G LTE trial in Threlkeld, we are delighted to be achieving download speeds well in excess of 20 MBPS and upload speeds approaching 20 MBPS. As a commercial photography and graphic design business it is vital for us to be able to send large files quickly and reliably. We are delighted that Everything Everywhere has been given the opportunity to launch 4G this year as it will help a rural business like ours to keep up in an increasingly competitive world, by ensuring our long term survival and prosperity.”

Corin Burdon, Keswick Web Design:  “I’m pleased to say the benefits to my business have been immediately noticeable with a large increase in consistent and useable connection speeds, which are typically 3-4 times faster than my existing landline broadband. The quality of the connection has been particularly noticeable with file upload speed and transfers via FTP. On several occasions transfers I would have left overnight on my traditional broadband connection –  only to see errors and drop outs the next day –  have been accomplished easily and quickly while continuing to work on websites in the background. 4G hastaken the load in its stride even while multiple users are connected.”

The innovative trial was opened in May by the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove and Rory, who worked closely with the telecommunications company to bring the trial to Cumbria – the first of its kind in the north of England. The trial is exploring how 4G can be deployed over airwaves currently used for 2G and 3G services.

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