I haven’t added to this blog for a while simply because I haven’t had much definitive news to communicate. However, the situation is becoming clearer now and, like the proverbial number 10 busses, several will come along at the same time now. So here goes:
We are at about 93% superfast (95% above 10 mb/s) coverage in the County compared to the national average of 96% superfast (97% above 10 mb/s) . Some districts are much less than this and, unsurprisingly it’s the outlying rural areas which are missing out. However, the take up in Cumbria is nearly 52% currently: much higher than the less than 40% national average. Take up is important as the County gets a share of the profits (‘Gain Share’) from Openreach as we hit certain thresholds.
Connecting Cumbria is well into delivering contract 2 and the monies for projects are allocated now. There is an additional sum of £3.9m from Gain Share etc for future projects. The bad news is that the plan submitted to BDUK (the national Body responsible) has been rejected as a consequence of the Government’s push towards full fibre to the premises. Back to the drawing board – Connecting Cumbria is reviewing what it can do with the money in the light of the changing rules. It is therefore unlikely that any of this money will start to be spent on projects until 2020 at the earliest.
So - If you haven’t got an upgraded connection by now, you are very unlikely to get one via Connecting Cumbria until 2020 at the earliest.
In my next post I’ll outline some ideas on what can be done if you have missed out.