Want to know what the papers are saying about the internet? Here’s five of the latest big broadband headlines you need to know, in Cumbria and nationally.
1. Criticism of broadband services
Lord Adonis this month severely criticised the state of the UK’s mobile and broadband services, demanding that telecom regulator Ofcom to take urgent steps.
Almost 30,000 homes in the County are currently without an adequate broadband connection.
Lord Adonis said: “In an age when access to a mobile signal is regarded as a must-have, it is deplorable that even in areas previously considered to have strong coverage, operators are still delivering such poor services that customers can struggle to make a quick phone call.”
2. Not enough high speed connections in Cumbria
Despite a government target to have a national average of 95 per cent homes and businesses on superfast broadband coverage by the end of the year, the figure in Cumbria is just 88.5 per cent.
3. Legal right to better broadband
British homes and businesses will have a legal right to high-speed broadband by 2020, the government has announced in December.
The government also dismissed calls from the network provider BT that it should be a voluntary rather than legal obligation on providers.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said only a universal service obligation (USO) would offer certainty that broadband speeds of at least 10Mbps would reach the whole of the UK by 2020.
Broadband providers will now have a legal requirement to provide high-speed broadband to anyone who requests it, no matter where they are in the country.
BT had said it would pledge to voluntarily close the digital gap in broadband speeds between cities and rural areas, and would start work immediately, but it argued that secondary legislation could slow progress down.
4. Basic Broadband subsidy extended
A scheme designed to help those people struggling with the slowest broadband speeds in the UK has been extended for another year.
More than 10,000 people have taken advantage of the scheme already, including in Cumbria, where you can get up to £400 towards improving your connection.
The Better Broadband Scheme was originally due to conclude at the end of 2017, but it was extended until the end of 2018 after it grew in popularity.
Households and businesses with speeds of under 2mb/s provided with a unique code by the Government that they can use to obtain an affordable basic broadband connection.
5. Solway Comms coverage area expanded
We have expanded our coverage area to include Cockermouth and Keswick, after installing a mast in the west of the County
Residents in North and West Cumbria are set for a major internet speed boost as we its local coverage.
People in Cockermouth, Maryport, Tallentire, Blindcrake, Redmain, and Dearham, will now be able to take advantage of its services.
We use wireless transmitters to provide coverage in an area that covers Carlisle and a variety of other north Cumbrian towns and villages.
We hope you found the “Five internet stories you need to know” article useful. If you’d like us to feature a particular technological or digital issue, drop us a line.
We hope you’ve had a wonderful 2017 and look forward to bringing you more interesting digital news and tips in 2018.