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Homes and businesses in Cockermouth are cock-a-hoop over superfast broadband

Press Release   •   Feb 12, 2018 09:20 GMT

The people of Cockermouth are going cock-a-hoop over the difference high-speed fibre broadband is making to their lives.Around 7,000 homes and businesses in the market town now have access to the technology as a result of work carried out by Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network, for the Connecting Cumbria programme.

The town and two of its small, high street businesses, Hummingbird House and Cockermouth Travel, feature in a new video, produced by Connecting Cumbria, which shows how businesses are saving time and money by using the high-speed service. The video can be viewed on You Tube.

In the video, Claire Rayment, owner of Hummingbird House, a home interiors and gift shop, explains the difference it has made to her business.

Claire said: “We found that fibre broadband has really helped our business to expand and grow. We can have our website up 24/7 so we can fulfil orders and answer customer enquiries more quickly. Re-ordering stock is a lot faster and we find uploading our accounts forms and processing our transactions are quicker too.

“Overall, it’s allowed us to take more orders and improved our efficiency.”

Cockermouth Travel, based a few doors down from Hummingbird House, has also found the connection speed has greatly improved efficiency and enabled cost savings.

Paul Cusack, owner of Cockermouth Travel, said: “Firstly, when we’re sat here with customers we can show them things very, very quickly. There’s no delay and waiting for pages to come up.

“Also, during the booking process, the time savings over the course of the day for seven desks and seven members of the team are phenomenal.

“Second is the obvious cost benefit by being able to do things electronically. Plus the security from our point of view and knowing that all of our data is backed up instantly using the high speed lines.”

Jonathan Harris, Connecting Cumbria senior programme manager, added: “It’s great to see communities like Cockermouth get access to superfast broadband including businesses like these.

“But it’s not just businesses…it’s residents and schoolchildren and it’s vital to have access to superfast infrastructure to keep market towns like Cockermouth alive.”

The benefits of faster broadband speeds are considerable for businesses, particularly those serving the thousands of visitors who flock to the area every year. They can access booking systems, update websites and utilise social networking sites faster and more effectively, saving both time and money.

Increased speeds are also of great value to local families. Everyone in the family can do their own thing online, all at the same time, whether it’s downloading music in minutes or watching catch-up TV; streaming HD or 3D movies in a few minutes; or posting photos and videos to social networking sites in seconds. It will also improve access to new job opportunities, and make it easier to shop around for cheaper services.

Matthew Hemmings, Openreach infrastructure director for the North, said: “We get a huge amount of feedback from people about the importance of fibre broadband and the difference it makes to their lives.

“I know that it’s making a huge difference for businesses and households in and around the Cockermouth area.”

Connecting Cumbria is working hard to provide the best connectivity possible for areas not currently featured in the roll-out plans within the funding available.

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ENDS

Press contact:Please contact Janet Hare in the Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 or janet.hare@bt.com

All news releases can be accessed on our web site.

Notes to Editors:

The video featuring the Cockermouth businesses can be viewed on YouTube

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
  • Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

    For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    About Connecting Cumbria

    Since October 2013, the Connecting Cumbria project – a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT - has enabled more than 700 fibre structures, with more being switched on every day. Nearly 125,000 households and businesses can now access fibre as a result of the project.

    The Connecting Cumbria Programme’s ambition will, by a combination of commercial investment and gap funding made available to us, enable access to Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband to 95 per cent of Cumbrian homes and businesses when added to the private sector’s commercial rollout.And Connecting Cumbria is providing two thirds of its rollout with speeds of more than 50 mbps.

    There is, in addition, a commitment that all Cumbrian properties will have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps by some means. In the majority of cases this is already available or will shortly be made available via the deployment of fibre services however where properties cannot yet access this basic level of broadband services there are subsides available through the Broadband Delivery UK Better Broadband Scheme to support access to services using alternative technology – details of this scheme can be found on the Connecting Cumbria website.

    Connecting Cumbria will ensure maximum coverage is achieved from available resources, demonstrating maximum value for money. Cumbria County Council has a continuing commitment to expand NGA broadband services and make NGA broadband service available to additional areas across Cumbria as funding becomes available.

    About Openreach

    Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

    We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

    Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

    We work on behalf of more than 590 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

    We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

    Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.

    Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

    For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

    For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk