Telecoms giant Everything Everywhere has commenced a new trial of 4G mobile broadband in Cumbria, it has been reported.
The firm - which runs the Orange and T-Mobile broadband brands in the UK - is piloting the technology in Threlkeld, home to Blencathra - one of the Lake District’s most visited peaks.
Up to 50 local residents will have the opportunity to participate in the Cumbria trial, which is set to run until the end of July.
This is the first time 4G technology has been tested in the north of England.
Everything Everywhere is testing network performance ahead of potential further rollout by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.
The firm is waiting on a final ruling from Ofcom, which is currently consulting on whether to allow the provider to use its existing 1,800MHz spectrum for 4G services.
The communications regulator could force Everything Everywhere to wait until after it has allocated 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum in its upcoming auction, scheduled for the second half of 2012.
Local MP Rory Stewart welcomed news of the 4G trial, describing it as "a great day for Cumbria".
"Many of the problems we face with our businesses, health, and council services are problems of distance," he commented.
"The latest technology allows us to jump those barriers and prove that rural areas can be national vanguards."
Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive of Everything Everywhere, suggested that one in five households in Britain could depend on 4G for super-fast broadband in the coming years.
"Britain deserves a 21st century digital infrastructure, and we’re committed to making that a reality for the nation as soon as possible," he stated.