Businesses that rely on fast broadband are urged to respond to a consultation on the rollout of gigabit connectivity.
The Government has pledged £5 billion through the UK Gigabit Programme to ensure that all areas benefit from the fastest-possible broadband speeds.
Cumbria is one of the places where subsidy will be needed because, as things stand, broadband providers plan to offer ultra-fast gigabit connectivity to fewer than half the county’s 285,000 homes and businesses over the next three years.
The chamber’s website has a map and postcode checker where businesses can see if they are in in line for gigabit connectivity.
They can also find out more about the consultation, which aims to identify the areas targeted for government investment.
Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said: “If your business is in area that isn’t earmarked for gigabit – the white areas on the map – then it may be worth responding to the consultation, particularly if fast broadband is critical to your competitiveness.
“This isn’t only an issue for rural areas. Whitehaven and much of Carlisle city centre won’t get gigabit connectivity without government intervention.”
She added: “We’re keen that as much of Cumbria as possible can access the fastest broadband speeds.
“It’s important for the businesses that are here now and crucial if we’re to attract businesses that are looking, post-COVID, to move out of London or other large cities to areas with lower costs and a better quality of life.
“That’s an opportunity for Cumbria but having good digital connectivity, especially broadband, is essential to attract businesses like these.”
Businesses can respond to the Department for Culture Media and Sport consultation by emailing email@example.com by March 9.