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Broadband Archive

Campaign for better Broadband

In 2010 our parish had five Broadband Champions so far - Liz Clarke, Fra Cooke, Norman Jackson , Veronica McGloin and Lucy Metcalf - we would welcome anyone else who would like to join the team.

March 27th 2018 - Fibre Broadband for Hartsop Available from March 28th 2018! - Openreach have now completed the work to bring fibre to Hartsop, so Fibre broadband should now be available for local premises to order from March 28th. (Judging from experience elsewhere, some Internet Service Providers may take longer than others to wise up to the new fibre availability, so may need prompting.)

March 22nd 2016 Update - Glenridding Cabinet Now "Live" - The good news is that the Glenridding cabinet in Barraclough Fold is now "live". This means that those households within approx 1000metres of the cabinet can now order superfast broadband from an internet service provider (ISP). Those further away from the cabinet, between 1000metres and 1700metres or so, should also be able to get a significant improvement in broadband speed through switching to fibre-based broadband.

March 2nd 2016 Update - BT are still having problems pumping water out of the manholes that serve the yet-to-be commissioned new Glenridding cabinet in Barraclough Fold. As soon as water is pumped out, the manholes refill, so more work needed. Now (March 2nd) Cumbria Highways have asked BT to put any work on hold as it would be in the area where access/work is ongoing for the new bridge in Pooley. This is likely to add a further two weeks delay at least. Latest estimate is that the cabinet may "go live" around the end of March, but no guarantees.

February 7th 2016 Update - There was some understandable confusion at the Nov 3rd Broadband Event in the Glenridding Public Hall about the "go live" date for the new fibre cabinet in Glenridding in Barraclough Fold. Here are the facts as of Feb 7th : the cabinet in Barraclough Fold is not yet live, the "Glenridding 1" cabinet previously listed as "live" on the Connecting Cumbria website is in fact the Patterdale cabinet outside the Mountain Rescue Centre (historically it was the only cabinet served by the Glenridding exchange, hence its name "Glenridding 1" on BT official records). Bringing fibre to the cabinet in Barraclough fold has been delayed by recent bad weather - it is now hoped that work will be completed by end February. If you want to check the broadband speed available today on your phone line, click here to go to the BT speedchecker. The available speed will be updated as and when fibre enabled broadband becomes an option for your line (thanks to Phil Ruston for the link).

January 2016 Update - Connecting Cumbria is now (January 2016) offering a subsidised satellite broadband connection to anyone in Cumbria who is unable to access a minimum 2Mbps broadband speed from any other provider. Click here to access details of the offer, how to apply etc. BT have launched a Community Fibre Partnerships initiative - click here for details. These Community Fibre Partnerships are aimed at communities who will not be covered by the Connecting Cumbria Phase 1 & 2 roll-outs. Some members of the community in Deepdale have expressed potential interest in a Community Fibre Partnership. BT have asked for address details and phone numbers of those who are potentially interested in joining such a scheme. BT will then cost up a scheme for the local community so that residents and businesses can then decide whether or not they want to progress the partnership. Alternatives for communities such as Deepdale would seem to be stay with existing broadband arrangements, apply for the Connecting Cumbria satellite offer where eligible, develop an alternative with another provider, await the introduction of the Government "10Mbps for all by 2020", or the arrival of as yet unlaunched new technical options.

September 2015 Update - Good news - the new roadside cabinet outside the Mountain Rescue Centre (see July update below) has now been fully commissioned.This means a two week notice period to internet service providers (ISPs) has been triggered, so in two weeks time (mid October) some at least of these ISPs should be able to offer an upgraded superfast broadband service to those who are close enough to the cabinet to benefit and want to sign up.

Glenridding: No firm news on a precise date for full commissioning of the Glenridding cabinet (see July update below), but expected shortly.

Hartsop: We do expect that Hartsop will be "fibred up" under Phase 2 of the Connecting Cumbria programme (see July update below). Latest news is that BT will start the detailed operational planning for Phase 2 in October , and will start physical delivery in March 2016.Phase 2 delivery will continue into 2017, but BT hope that the Hartsop cabinet can be delivered in 2016.

Deepdale: Nothing to add for now to the July update below.

Mobile Reception: See July update below. Very recently we have had disappointing news on the Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) option. We have been told that Hartsop is one of 28 out of the original 33 MIP sites in Cumbria that has been dropped from the programme, as there was no realistic prospect of spending the money on the installation by the funding deadline of March 2016. We are seeking an exception for Hartsop, but this looks unlikely at this stage.We and the Hartsop Society will continue to pursue all possible options.

Broadband Roll-Out Map: The Connecting Cumbria project have now published a detailed broadband deployment map, indicating which localities/streets are likely to be able to access superfast broadband under Phase 1 of the project. Click here to go to the Connecting Cumbria website, then click on "Deployment Map" and zoom in where you want. "Connecting Cumbria" issued a general project news update on August 12 2015 - click here to read the update.

July 2015 Update - BT have now laid fibre to Glenridding along the lake road , and have installed new roadside cabinets in Glenridding (Barraclough Fold) and in Patterdale (outside the Mountain Rescue Centre) . BT are now in the final stages of bringing fibre to these cabinets, and expect the cabinets to be fully commissioned by the end of September 2015. Once the new fibre cabinets are commissioned, it should mean that those within 1000 metres or so of the cabinet can opt for superfast broadband if they want to upgrade to that - the 1000 metres is not a BT estimate, they dont feel able to commit to any figure as the actual distance over which superfast broadband can be delivered from a particular cabinet depends on a number of factors, but elsewhere in England it seems that 1000 metres has proved a reasonable guide.

Hartsop: BT have developed a proposal for bringing superfast broadband to Hartsop, under Phase 2 of the Connecting Cumbria project. BT's proposal is to lay fibre along the A592 from the Patterdale cabinet to the Hartsop bus=stop, and install a new fibre enabled cabinet next to the bus stop. It is expected that formal planning and endorsement of proposals under Phase 2 will start at the beginning of 2016, and Phase 2 delivery will be completed by first quarter 2018. As BT have done detailed pre planning for Hartsop, we very much hope that Hartsop will be readily endorsed and will feature early in the Phase 2 delivery plan.

Deepdale: As yet no superfast solution for the approx 20 properties at Deepdale has been identified. We have given BT details of the property locations and a simple map showing the existing telephone line paths to each property. BT understand that as a community we are anxious to achieve a superfast solution for Deepdale, and have undertaken to look for possible options. We will post a further update as soon as we get any news back from BT.

Minimum 2Mbps commitment: At present there is no firm news about how the minimum 2Mbps download speed commitment will be delivered to properties in the Parish that cannot benefit from the new fibre-enabled cabinets. The latest indication from Connecting Cumbria is that a national "voucher scheme" will be introduced before the end of the year, that will subsidise a satellite connection to deliver the minimum 2Mbps commitment, but as yet there has been no formal announcement.

Mobile Reception : Currently as is well known there is very feeble/no mobile reception at the Hartsop end of the parish. UK Govt has a project (the Mobile Infrastructure Project, or MIP) to install masts in so called "not spot" areas for mobile reception, and the project team have confirmed that a Hartsop mast is on their list of potential sites in the Lake District, and they are looking to see how they could achieve "line of sight" connection with another mobile installation. At the same time, Vodafone have confirmed that they continue to have a longer term ambition to commission a mast in Hartsop. We and the Hartsop Society are in touch with both Vodafone and the MIP project, stressing how much mobile reception is needed and offering help with local information wherever we can. We will post an update as soon as we get any further news.

November 7th, 2015 - Legal Right to Minimum 10Mbps Broadband Speed by 2020 - The Government has announced (07/11/15) that a broadband "Universal Service Obligation" will be introduced to give everyone the right to a minimum 10Mbps broadband service no matter where they live. Click here to read the announcement in detail.

Jan 7th, 2015 latest - In November 2014, the Connecting Cumbria project launched a public consultation to find out what was important to communities as they embark on the state funded Phase 2. The Patterdale Broadband Champions submitted a two page response, which emphasised that the needs of the Hartsop and Deepdale communities should be specifically addressed under Phase 2. The Hartsop community of approx 42 dwellings is too far from any currently proposed cabinet to see much of an uplift benefit from Phase 1

July 2014 Patterdale Parish - Broadband Update


  • The Cumbria County Council "Connecting Cumbria " broadband project reports that it is progressing to timetable. The Glenridding exchange is due to be upgraded in 2015, most likely towards the end of 2015 as it is not yet one of the exchanges with a specific time of year against it in the published plan.Once it has been upgraded, it is estimated that households/premises within approx 1200metres of the exchange will be able to access superfast broadband by signing a new contract with an internet service provider.Those in Patterdale/Deepdale/Hartsop are too far from the exchange to benefit.

  • Households/premises in Patterdale, Deepdale, Hartsop are served via a "street cabinet" outside the Mountain Rescue Centre, and we are urging the project team and BT to upgrade this cabinet with a fibre connection to the Glenridding exchange. If this street cabinet was upgraded then it is estimated that households/premises within approx 1200metres of the street cabinet would also be able to access a superfast connection. BT have told us that the full design for Glenridding is currently under review and they are currently costing the option to upgrade the street cabinet and have promised to get back in touch with us to discuss once they have the costings. Hartsop is judged too remote to benefit significantly from any exchange/street cabinet upgrading, but under the Connecting Cumbria project BT have an obligation to provide a minimum 2Mbps connection to every household /premise in Cumbria, and BT will have to upgrade the service to Hartsop in some way as yet unspecified to deliver on this commitment. BT have told us they are trialling technical solutions to extend the reach of superfast broadband and make it more viable to extend superfast access to small communities, and that they are likely to make use of a range of technical solutions to deliver on the "minimum 2Mbps" commitment .

  • We are maintaining strong links with the Connecting Cumbria project team and the BT manager responsible for delivery in Cumbria - our ambition remains that everyone in the parish of Patterdale should have the opportunity to access superfast broadband. Having said that, we and other broadband champions within Cumbria have found there is little scope to influence the current roll-out phase of the Connecting Cumbria project. The UK government is committed to further funding for rural broadband, and Cumbria County Council already has an indication of its share of such additional funding, which is likely to be spent post 2015, once the final reach of the current phase of roll-out is known.

  • A few communities in Cumbria are raising/considering raising their own funding to build their own local superfast network or seeking alternative suppliers to BT, especially where the existing broadband speeds are felt to be intolerable. We feel that in our own case it makes sense to see what the Connecting Cumbria project and BT will deliver across the parish before pursuing alternatives. There is also the possibilty that technological developments eg novel technical solutions, broadband vis 4G mobile network etc will offer alternatives to community investment. We have highlighted Hartsop to Cumbria County Council as a potential location for trials of such technologies. Broadband via satellite does provide an immediate solution for those who have an urgent need for better broadband, and so far a few individuals in Patterdale and neighbouring parishes have taken this option.

  • The Connecting Cumbria project team's advice is that local meetings to answer questions/promote take-up etc are best held once the actual local "go live" date for local superfast broadband availability is known, and they are focussing their support around these "go live" dates. We as local broadband champions would be very happy to support a local "drop-in" session at any time .

  • We do maintain contact with and learn from other communities in Cumbria who want to promote superfast broadband. We are members of the East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum, which meets every 8-12 weeks with 10-15 different parishes represented. The Connecting Cumbria project also holds quarterly meetings with community representatives (hub coordinators) to get progress updates from the project team and BT, and Fra attends these as the hub coordinator for our local parishes. There is also a a broader Cumbria wide stakeholder group - the Connecting Cumbria Partnership Board - that meets quarterly to review project progress and make suggestions, and Fra sits on this as one of two hub coordinator representatives.

  • We would very much welcome anyone else who is interested in becoming more involved and would like to join the four existing Patterdale Parish broadband champions (Liz Clark, Fra Cooke, Norman Jackson, Veronica McGloin).

Mobile Reception

  • We have highlighted to Cumbria County Council the issue of complete lack of mobile phone reception in Hartsop. The UK Government has funded a £150M project (the Mobile Infrastructure Project) to build additional masts in relatively remote areas to overcome "not spots" for mobile reception. Via Cumbria County Council, we have made this project team aware of the situation in Hartsop - no mobile reception at present, but an installed but as yet uncommissioned mast already there. We hope that this will be seen as a very attractive option for the project, which is looking specifically at sites within the Lake District National Park as part of the project. So far, neither we nor Cumbria County Council have had any positive news back from the project which is disappointing, but we will continue to pursue the issue.

March 2014 "Connecting Cumbria" - Project Update

  • “Connecting Cumbria” is the name of the Cumbria County Council project to deliver upgraded broadband across Cumbria. The project commitment, with current funding, is to deliver superfast connection capability (at least 24 megabits/second -24Mbps) to 93% of premises in Cumbria, and to deliver at least 2megabits /second capability (2Mbps) to all premises in Cumbria.

  • The County Council has contracted with BT to deliver these results. The target date for overall completion is end 2015. Project delivery began in the second half of 2013 and at present the overall project delivery is on schedule .

  • The approach that BT is taking is to roll-out superfast broadband in phases, and to leave till the end the delivery of the minimum 2Mbps to all the remaining premises. The reason for leaving the 2Mbps delivery to the end is that they will only know for sure who will and who won’t get 2Mbps once the superfast rollout is complete, BT are also trialling technical solutions that potentially will improve/enhance delivery of the minimum 2Mbps commitment, and these technical solutions are not yet proven.

  • The Connecting Cumbria project has a website - - which carries general info about the project, progress updates, and links via which you can check when particular exchanges/postcodes/phonelines can expect a superfast broadband capability. The project has an associated Business Support programme, which aims to work with businesses to ensure they gain maximum benefit from the broadband roll-out (more info on this can be accessed via the Connecting Cumbria website)

  • The Connecting Cumbria project has published a map (March 2014) showing expected broadband coverage across the county, and this can be accessed via this link - . This was originally announced as a map "at 7 digit postcode level", but does not in fact reveal this level of detail and community groups in Cumbria are hugely disappointed as they have been pressing for general release of more detailed information.

  • The Government has announced an additional £250M nationally for broadband roll-out . Cumbria County Council has been provisionally invited to apply for £2.86M, on condition that they can offer matched funding from elsewhere. The County Council will decide in May whether to apply for this additional tranche of funding (general expectation is that it will apply). This additional funding should then help to increase the expected coverage from the project.

  • The County Council has advised (March 26th) that the Cumbria share of the new £250M national funding may affect how they support local community schemes but they cant assess the impact as yet. As a result, they have decided to put "on hold" further meetings with local communities for some months until the County Council has made a decision on whether to apply for this funding, and until it becomes clearer how any such additional funding might be used to extend the reach of the Connecting Cumbria project.Overall, the County Council sees it as a positive development, but creating some short-term uncertainty.

2011-2013 Updates in Brief

Nov 19th, 2013 latest - The Connecting Cumbria project issue their November newsletter .

Sept 14th, 2013 latest - The Cumberland & Westmorland Herald publish information on expected Superfast Broadband coverage for all Parishes in Eden District.

July 29th,2013 latest - The Connecting Cumbria project team advise that 50% of households in Patterdale parish should be able to access Superfast Broadband once the project has been rolled out in our area.

June 14th,2013 latest - Cumbria County Council announce an outline exchange by exchange rollout plan - click here to see the Cumbria County Council announcement and click here to see the rollout plan. The Glenridding exchange is listed as "under evaluation" so we will have to wait and see.

May 16th,2013 latest - Cumbria County Council have now secured EU major project funding approval and are planning to launch the roll-out of the Connecting Cumbria project on June 21st, and will publish detailed roll-out plans at that time (for more information read the May 2013 project overview on this page)

Feb 20th,2013 latest - further newsletter from the Connecting Cumbria project, announcing the strategic roll-out priorities that Cumbria County Council Cabinet agreed on Jan 30th - click here to read the newsletter.

Dec 21st, 2012 latest - further newsletter from the Connecting Cumbria project - click here to read the newsletter.

Nov 29th,2012 latest - Cumbria County Council and BT come to Glenridding to sign the contract for delivery of the Connecting Cumbria project. Click here to read the full Cumbria County Council press release. Click here to read the full BT press release.

Nov 21st,2012 latest - the EU has agreed that the Government can be granted state aid approval for its national broadband rollout. This has removed the final obstacle to concluding a contract with BT for delivery of the Connecting Cumbria project. Click here to see the Cumbria County Council press release.

Oct 15th,2012 latest - Further newsletter from the Connecting Cumbria project - the project is still awaiting final EU approval for the Government funding contribution to the cost of the project - this approval is now expected in November - click here to see the newsletter.

Sept 13th, 2012 latest - Cumbria County Council have announced a major broadband contract award to BT. The Council's announcement said that the committed investment from all sources will ensure that over 93% of the county has access to superfast broadband by the end of 2015. It is not yet clear which households and communities will fall within the 93%.Click here to read the County Council's full announcement.

July 11th,2012 latest - Fujitsu have withdrawn from the Connecting Cumbria procurement process, leaving BT as the sole bidder. Click here to see the July Connecting Cumbria newsletter.

June 21st, 2012 latest - Click here to see the June Connecting Cumbria newsletter.

June 14th, 2012 latest - Cumbria County Council have advised a further three month delay to the project contract award decision - this is now scheduled to go to Cumbria County Council Cabinet in September 2012. Click here to see the the latest Cumbria County Council announcement.

April 5th 2012 latest - The Connecting Cumbria project have advised a one month delay to the project contract award decision - this is now scheduled to go to Cumbria County Council Cabinet in June 2012. There are now 2 bidders - BT and Fujitsu.

March 2012 latest - click here to see the March Connecting Cumbria newsletter. If you find all the broadband jargon confusing, click here to go to the "Jargon Buster" section of the Connecting Cumbria website.

November 17 2011 latest -Cumbria County Council has published its Connecting Cumbria Broadband Strategy 2011-2015 - click here to go to the project website where you can view the strategy documents, or click here to view a one page summary of the strategy.

November 2011 latest -Cumbria County Council has extended the procurement timetable for the Connecting Cumbria project - not clear as yet what impact this will have (if any) on the overall project timetable- click here to see the November Connecting Cumbria newsletter . The newsletter gives other project updates, including a progress report on the five pilot projects in Cumbria that will test out how best rural communities can secure access to superfast broadband.

October 2011 latest - Cumbria County Council has renamed the Cumbria wide broadband project as "Connecting Cumbria" - click here to see the October Connecting Cumbria newletter. To visit the Broadband section of the County Council website, click here.

August 2011 latest - Cumbria County Council announced on August 26th that they have now shortlisted three bidders - BT Global Services, Cable and Wireless, Fujitsu - to deliver the technical aspects of the Accessible Cumbria broadband project. A final decision on the successful bidder will be taken in December 2011. To see the full press release, click here.

July 2011 latest - Cumbria County Council has just upgraded the broadband section of their website - click here to access the new pages.

June 2011 latest - Cumbria County Council has announced the list of suppliers who have successfully made it through to the second stage of its ICT contracts procurement process.The contract, worth £120million, is made up in two lots as follows;

Lot one is for the contract to provide ICT services to the council, this includes provision and maintenance of computers, phones and security etc.

Lot two is to support an exciting county wide initiative to improve public sector networks across Cumbria and to implement super-fast broadband across the County, a project known as ‘Accessible Cumbria’.

The successful bidders through to the second stage (in no particular order) are:

Lot One – ICT Services
BT Global Services
Commendium Ltd
Computercentre UK Ltd
Tata Consultancy Services Ltd

Lot Two – Accessible Cumbria
BT Global Services
Cable and Wireless
Commendium Ltd

In total 124 suppliers registered an interest in the two ICT contracts with a total of 23 suppliers submitting submissions in the first stage. The next stages involve the shortlisted companies entering into detailed dialogue with the Council to complete their outline stage 2 submissions for each lot by the end of July, with final detailed solutions by the end of September. The final decision will be taken by Cabinet in December 2011. The contract start date will be 1st April 2012.

April 2011 latest - Cumbria County Council has issued their first newsletter on their "Accessible Broadband" project for the county - click here to access the newsletter.

March 25th,2011 latest - Cumbria CountyCouncil has outlined the scope of their proposed broadband contract and invited interest from potential suppliers - click here to see the outline in detail.

March 8th,2011 latest - Cumbria County Council are seeking financial support to roll out the Broadband Pilot across the whole of Cumbria under a single contract - click here to read the Council's request to Government for support.

March 1st,2011 Update - Cumbria County Council have now created a Broadband section on their website and have issued a progress update on how their thinking is developing on the Broadband Pilot .

Cumbria has been Named as one of Four Broadband Pilot Areas

Four rural areas that include some of the most remote and geographically challenging parts of the UK have been selected to pilot the next generation of high speed broadband.

Each area will be allocated around £5-10m from a total of £530m funding to support the roll-out of next generation broadband between now and 2015 to areas that the market alone will not reach.

Parts of Cumbria, the Highlands and Islands, North Yorkshire and the Golden Valley in Herefordshire will all be connected at speeds only usually found in densely populated urban areas. The pilot exercise will help establish the commercial costs and challenges involved in rolling out superfast broadband across the UK.

Cumbria County Council is now working with BDUK on drawing up plans for the pilot - for the Cumberland News 10th December report on this, click here .

Marie Fallon from Cumbria County Council included an update on the pilot plans in her presentation to the January 15th 2011 "Broadband Meets Localism" conference - to view her presentation to the conference, click here.

Rural Community Broadband Fund

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman , while on a visit to the Lakes , announced a new Rural Community Broadband Fund, expected to be worth up to £20million, to allow rural communities – including those in the uplands – to apply for help with small scale broadband projects - " an innovative way of enabling people in rural areas, including hill farmers, to access the digital services and business opportunities most of us take for granted".

Want to know more about 4G?

There has been a lot in the press recently about 4G - OFCOM has just launched (Dec 20th) an auction of 4G spectrum - if you would like to know more about anything to do with 4G, click here to go to the OFCOM consumer website .

Baffled by Broadband Jargon?

Click here for a plain English explanation of broadband jargon - upload speed, dark fibre, hotspot etc etc.

Results of the 2010 Vote
Many in our community are still unable to access broadband at any useful speed, let alone access "superfast broadband". In 2010ar, BT set up a website where individuals in a community could register their interest in faster broadband. We wanted to exploit the opportunity and make the point that there was a definite interest in improving access to broadband for everyone in our area served by the Glenridding exchange. 118 of us registered on the BT website by the deadline of 31st December, 2010.A big thank you to everyone who registered. 118 votes is just over 26% of those eligible, a higher percentage than for any similar sized exchange in Cumbria.