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Are you up to fibre speed for Christmas?

Press release   •   Nov 27, 2014 00:00 GMT

Households and Businesses Can Ease the Christmas Load by signing up for High-Speed Fibre Broadband 

As Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Manic Monday attract headlines, Cumbria’s internet shoppers are being urged to ease the load by upgrading to superfast speeds this Christmas.

Connecting Cumbria says high-speed fibre broadband can make a big difference to the online Christmas experience for the county’s households and businesses during what is expected to be a bumper online festive rush to rival all other years.

More than 150,000 homes and businesses in the county can already get fibre broadband as a result of the Connecting Cumbria partnership and BT’s commercial roll-out of the technology. Connecting Cumbria is the £51 million partnership between BT and Cumbria County Council that will give 93 per cent of homes and businesses in Cumbria access to high speed fibre broadband by the end of 2015.

Cllr David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for economic development and portfolio holder for Connecting Cumbria, said: “Every year we see the number of internet transactions growing and the demand increasing for faster, more powerful devices. The demand on broadband is only going to go in one direction – up.

“Therefore now is the time to check whether you’re getting the best deal and whether you should switch to a faster, fibre-based service. Internet service providers are particularly keen to get your business at this time of year, so as well as some great bargains on the presents you’re buying, there’s also some great bargains on internet services.”

Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, said: “With fibre broadband, Christmas shoppers can have less haste and more speed. The Connecting Cumbria partnership of BT and Cumbria County Council has now given some 55,000 households and businesses across the county the opportunity to access high speed fibre broadband. And, if you add that figure to BT’s own roll-out of the fibre network, it comes to more than 150,000. Events like Black Friday, Cyber and Manic Mondays, are now key days for retailers and for shoppers as the buying of Christmas digital gifts continues to soar.”

Retail researchers are confidently predicting a bumper on-foot and online Christmas rush. . They say Christmas shopping has been transformed by online shopping and by the number of internet-reliant gifts like laptops, games consoles and smartphones.

According to global information research company Experian, UK consumers made 115 million visits to retail websites in just one day – December 2 - in the run up to Christmas last year*. Among the dates expected to be particularly busy are Black Friday, when stores make surprise discount offers, Cyber Monday when the offers switch online and then Manic Monday on December 8, which saw a 120 per cent increase in traffic to retail websites last year*.

Households can help the digital devices under the Christmas tree – including tablets, gaming consoles, on demand TV and smartphones – run at optimum speed by signing up for fibre broadband.

People may have electronic games, laptops, tablets, on demand TV and phones on the top of their Christmas wish lists. Will they have enough oomph in their internet connection to get the best from these new presents? Fibre broadband can help ensure everything works without buffering and avoids Christmas Day disappointment.

High-speed fibre broadband does not happen by Christmas magic. Broadband customers need to shop around internet service providers and get the best deal for a faster, fibre service.
Check high speed fibre broadband availability at Connecting Cumbria:

* Experian Cyber Monday research

Notes to Editors:

About Connecting Cumbria

The Connecting Cumbria Project will build upon BT and other providers’ existing commercial investment to ensure at least 93 per cent of Cumbrian homes & businesses can access fibre broadband by the end of 2015, with the aspiration that all Cumbrian properties have speeds of at least 2Mbps.This includes working with some of Cumbria’s remotest communities to extend the fibre network through innovative community projects in the hardest to reach areas.
BT is contributing £15m to the project with £17.1m coming from Broadband Development UK (BDUK), £13.7m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5m through the Performance Reward Grant (PRG) from all councils in Cumbria. On top of this, additional ERDF and PRG funding will contribute to the roll-out and marketing of fibre broadband in Cumbria.
According to Ofcom, the county’s average downstream speed is currently 7.1Mbps whilst 18.8 per cent of the population receive less than 2Mbps.

About ERDF
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

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: