Workington, Harrington, and Penrith are all set to receive some of the fastest internet connection available, as part of a £12bn investment into new full fibre broadband access from Openreach.

The locations, alongside five in the south of the county will be upgraded to "gigabit-capable" full fibre broadband access by the national company Openreach, as part of a significant investment to upgrade the accessiblity of rural areas to top speed internet connections.

The company, which is investing a total of £12bn into its ambitious plans to bring "full fibre" high speed broadband to 20 million premises across the UK by the mid to late 2020s, is hoping that improved broadband access in the country's more remote locations will assist with the economic recovery in these areas following disruption brought on by Covid-19.

Work is expected to begin within the next 12 to 18 months, with the project set to be completed by 2024 at the latest.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s partnership director in the north of England, explained that "full fibre" is more reliable and more resilient than earlier generations of internet connection, meaning "fewer faults and more predictable, consistent speeds."

"It is also ‘future-proof’ to easily meet the growing data demands of future technologies," he said.

“We’ve already upgraded hundreds of thousands of homes and business across the north west to full fibre.

"As well as keeping the existing network running throughout the Covid crisis, our engineers have safely and with social distancing in place, continued building the new infrastructure to make sure that as lockdown restrictions ease, our network is there to support families, businesses and the economic recovery.

“I’d encourage everyone to check if they can switch to the new technology, and if you can, get in touch with your broadband provider to find out more about the many benefits.

Openreach chief executive, Clive Selley, said: “This year we’ve all seen the importance of having a decent broadband connection and at Openreach, we’re convinced that full fibre technology can underpin the UK’s economic recovery.

“Right now, we’re building a new, ultra-reliable full-fibre network that will boost productivity, cut commuting and carbon emissions, and connect our families, public services and businesses for decades to come. It’s Ofcom’s proposals that give us the right conditions to build commercially in hardest to reach areas.

“We’re determined to find inventive engineering solutions and effective partnership funding models to reduce costs and enable us to connect as many communities as possible across the UK without public subsidy.

“Openreach is leading the charge to help Government achieve its target of making gigabit capable networks available nationwide by 2025. And we hope that by publishing our own plans, we can help ensure that taxpayers only fund connections in communities that really need public support.”