Background of Pilot

The Secretary of State for Culture Media & Sport, Jeremy Hunt announced the publication of the Coalition Government’s broadband strategy. Titled Britain’s superfast broadband future (PDF, 3.7 Mb) , it aims to bring together all the areas that the government and industry is working on in bringing superfast broadband to all parts of the UK.

Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) has been created within BIS as a delivery vehicle for the Government’s policies on broadband, reporting to Ed Vaizey (as a joint DCMS & BIS minister).  The BDUK team brings together a mixture of skills from the public and private sector and is currently based within the BIS offices at 1 Victoria Street, London.

BDUK’s goals include facilitating the delivery of universal broadband and stimulating private sector investment to deliver the best super-fast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

To achieve these objectives the Department for Business and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have agreed 3 business aims:

  1. Create a level playing field between incumbents and new providers
  2. Open up access to infrastructure to facilitate super-fast broadband in many areas
  3. Facilitate the introduction of super-fast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas

Following these annoucements and formation of BDUK, Cumbria has been included as a Superfast Broadband Pilot along with the Highlands and Islands, North Yorkshire and Herefordshire.

Both Garsdale and Dentdale Parish Councils have risen to the challenge and nominated two Broadband Champions, Tony Roberts from Garsdale and Anne Fleck from Dentdale to lead and serve on the recently formed Dentdale and Garsdale Fibre Broadband Steering Group.

Tim Farron MP
“The South Lakes MP will be working with local communities, the County Council and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) to ensure that high-speed broadband is made available to everyone, and not just people in towns and cities. The North Cumbria scheme has seen some big successes, and securing its extension to the rest of the county is a major step to achieving this goal. However, Tim is keen to emphasise that this is no cause for complacency, and he will continue to campaign hard on this issue as well as working to ensure that all communities get the best possible deal. The work for installation and service provision is expected to go to tender in the second half of 2011, and Tim will be meeting with the relevant parties in January to decide how best to proceed.

Tim commented: “This is fantastic news – I am very pleased that my campaign to secure high-speed broadband for rural areas has been successful, and I am very much looking forward to working with the County Council, BDUK and the communities involved to ensure that the best possible deal is achieved.

I have had a large number of enquiries about rural broadband services and it is clear that many homes and businesses feel like they have been ignored in the past by Government and telecoms companies. That this is all about to change is exactly what the rural areas of this country need”

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