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Homes and businesses in rural Cumbria will be able to take advantage of EE's 4G mobile broadband service, it has been announced.

In a first for the UK countryside, super-fast dongle services are becoming available, with users able to access average downloads of between 8Mb and 12Mb, and headline speeds of over 20Mb.

This will significantly improve connectivity in the Northern Fells area, which to date has no fibre or other super-fast broadband coverage.

EE is launching the service with a range of consumer and business mobile broadband plans, starting from £15.99 per month.

The 4G service will cover 84 per cent of the population across the Northern Fells by summer 2013.

Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and Borders, said the launch is "a major step forward" for the area, as super-fast broadband can make "a massive difference" to the way people live their lives and do business.

"It is a hugely positive step to see this being moved to a full launch over the coming months," he stated.

"EE is a great British business that is investing in sharing the power of connectivity with citizens living in some of the most remote parts of the UK."

Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive Officer at EE, said the firm is overcoming the challenges of delivering rural connectivity to launch a 4G mobile broadband service in Cumbria.

"This is yet another big step in advancing digital communications in the UK," he claimed.

"We're offering one of the fastest mobile networks in the world, and are pioneering how to make super-fast broadband available to homes and businesses that currently have little or no connectivity."

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