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EE has switched on its expanded 4G network in rural Cumbria, bringing super-fast broadband to more than 2,000 households and businesses for the first time.

The broadband provider - which carried out a recent commercial trial in the area of Threlkeld - has extended its local network to cover more than 100 square miles.

This means that from December 6th, residents and businesses covered by EE’s 4G network in Cumbria will be able to sign up for a 4G broadband deal.

EE said its super-fast mobile broadband services present "a new opportunity" for improved connectivity in areas where it has been difficult to provide fixed services.

The firm explained that the cost of launching 4G services in this part of Cumbria is around ten per cent of what it would cost to lay fibre broadband cables.

It plans to roll out 4G services across the rest of Cumbria - approximately another 100 square miles - by March 2014.

And by next summer, EE also plans to launch 4G on Bodmin Moor in the south-west of England - an area that has never been serviced with super-fast broadband.

Olaf Swantee, Chief Executive at EE, said the firm's goal is to enhance the digital lives of everyone in the UK.

"This major expansion of our super-fast broadband service in one of the most rural and geographically challenging areas of the country is a big step towards that goal," he stated.

"There is a lot of work to do in 2014 to reach more people and businesses in rural areas, and investment-friendly government policies have an important role to play in supporting this."

Mr Swantee said that 4G has the capability "to connect this country’s unconnected", and EE will continue to be at the forefront of that.

Just over a year since the launch of its next-generation network, EE has 1.2 million 4G customers and a super-fast network that covers approximately 60 per cent of the UK population.

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