Cumbria County Council's political leaders have agreed a new digital infrastructure strategy, to set out ways of improving broadband internet and mobile connectivity across the county.

The county council is seeking to build on the recent success of its Connecting Cumbria programme, which has delivered superfast broadband connections to more than 122,000 premises.

But, at present, only 6.4 per cent of properties are able to access gigabit-capable services in Cumbria - the fastest type of internet connection.

The council's digital infrastructure strategy aims to tackle this.

It will continue to work with service providers to support the joining of technology for seamless connectivity to services and applications through the most appropriate route.

This could be through a cable or Wi-Fi connection to in-premise fixed fibre, or through 4G mobile infrastructure, either indoors or outdoors, or via fixed wireless or satellite solutions.

The new strategy also includes the work that the county council will be doing to support the Government’s ambition for delivery of improved broadband and mobile networks. The aim is to spread gigabit-capable broadband across the UK and for 95% of the UK landmass to have 4G mobile coverage from at least one mobile network operator by 2025.

David Southward, the council's cabinet member for economic development and property said: “The importance of digital connectivity is increasing as it becomes more critical to the modern day lives of residents and productivity of businesses.

"This importance has been further highlighted by the coronavirus crisis and as we recover and restart, access to fast, reliable internet connectivity is no longer a luxury; it is a basic necessity for residents, local businesses and the delivery of public services.

“From living and working in Cumbria, I know first-hand some of the challenges in delivering infrastructure in our county.

"However, I also know how transformative good connectivity can be. As portfolio holder for economic development, digital infrastructure is my top priority given the significant economic and social benefits for Cumbria.”

The digital infrastructure strategy and more information about it can be found on