At a packed out community meeting in Roadhead village hall this Sunday, Rory set out his model for how any rural community can now attain the broadband speeds they want. He encouraged communities to come forward with their own solutions to their own areas, and promised to work with them to get Cumbria ‘the best superfast broadband in Europe’.

Rory has played a key role in securing the £40 million contract between BT and Cumbria County Council, which will see 93% of homes and businesses gain access to superfast broadband by the end of 2015. Connecting Cumbria have now made clear which communities can expect superfast infrastructure, and local communities should now have a realistic understanding of what to expect. This now provides the moment for communities to come forward with their own schemes to fill in the gaps, which are not covered by the county roll-out. Rory explained the full range of options available from satellite to wireless solutions, pointed to Cumbrian companies which are already supplying solutions, including Solway Communications and Lonsdale Net. He particularly encouraged communities however, to look at following the model he had pioneered with County Councillor Libby Bateman at Fell end – which would allow superfast fibre optic broadband to be delivered directly to every home.

Rory said:

“I have lost count of the number of constituents who have contacted me wanting better broadband services, and the number of people willing to turn up on a Sunday evening to a village hall meeting, is testament to the importance of broadband to our Cumbrian communities.”

“We have secured for Cumbria more money per capita for broadband infrastructure than any other county in the UK. But even with this £40 million, we will not achieve 100% superfast broadband coverage – something I am desperate to see – unless some of our most remote communities now join us in working to finish the last miles. There are any number of broadband technologies which may be right for the geography and demand of a given community. I am confident that in every case a solution exists, and I am very keen to work and support any community who are unsure of the next step.”

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