Fast broadband roll-out connects almost 1,000 customers in Cumbrian town

Nearly 1,000 businesses and homes in Aspatria now have access to fast gigabit-capable broadband, as part of the Government’s £108m investment to improve connectivity in rural Cumbria.

The connections take broadvand provider, Fibrus, closer to its goal of connection one million homes and businesses to lightning fast services.

Fibrus was awarded the Government’s Project Gigabit contract for Cumbria in November 2022, and these homes in Aspatria are part of the 60,000 premises that will be reached by this project. Newly connected properties in Aspatria are using cutting edge XGS-PON technology which offers broadband speeds of up to 2Gbps.

Project Gigabit is the Government’s flagship £5bn programme to enable hard-to-reach communities to access fast gigabit-capable broadband that would otherwise have missed out. Gigabit capable networks are fast and future-proofed, allowing users to work, stream and scroll online without the battle for bandwidth or disruption often experienced with ageing networks.

Chris Collins, head of network build at Fibrus, said: “Fibrus aims to enhance the lives of residents and businesses in areas like Aspatria, who have long experienced limited connectivity options. This is completely transforming their everyday lives and allowing families, businesses, and local people to be able to work from home.”

He added: “Fibrus will continue to address the digital imbalance in rural connectivity and we look forward to seeing more communities enjoying the benefits of our full fibre network.”

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, John Whittingdale, said: “Fast and reliable connectivity helps families to stay in touch, businesses to boost their operations, and public services to deliver for local communities. Whether you’re in central London or rural Cumbria, everyone should have access to the benefits that lightning-fast, gigabit-capable broadband brings.”

Cumberland Council sees access to full fibre broadband as crucial to the future success and prosperity of towns such as Aspatria.

Cllr Chris Southward, Cumberland Council’s executive member for digital connectivity and customer focus, said: “Cumberland Council very much supports the continued roll-out of faster broadband connections around the area.

“In our digital age, it is so important that businesses and residents have good access to the internet wherever they live, and it’s great to see the people of Aspatria able to benefit from it now.”

Fibrus has demonstrated its support for Cumbrian communities this year by launching a fund for grassroots sports clubs, which will invest £30,000 in boys’ and girls’ groups across the regions it serves.

The company recently sponsored the inaugural Fibrus 100 girls’ cricket league in partnership with Cumbria Cricket, and announced that it had acquired naming rights for Workington Town’s Derwent Park, now known as the Fibrus Community Stadium.

These investments sits alongside The Fibrus Community Fund, in which Fibrus has invested £60,000 this year to tackle digital poverty across Cumbria.