Fastershire is a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council to bring faster broadband to the two counties, with funding from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK matched by the local authorities. The ultimate aim is that by the end of 2019/20 there will be access to fast broadband for all who need it.
However, Fastershire is not only about technology, the project also includes social and digital inclusion activities, and an extensive business support programme, FasterBusiness. The programme is designed to help small and medium size businesses get the most from fibre broadband and be more competitive. In fact, it is expected that Fastershire will help to boost the local economy by £420m over the next ten years.
Fastershire will revolutionise the way that people of all ages across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire work, learn and play, and will benefit generations to come.
Phase 2 of the Fastershire rollout of faster broadband across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will be based around four areas (area 1, 2, 3(A-E) & 4) and will comprise of premises that were not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout.
Each went through its own consultation and procurement process to secure a supplier to carry out the deployment.
All information, including forecast dates, is indicative only. Forecast dates may move forwards as well as backwards.
Area 1: The Cotswolds
Area 2: The Forest of Dean
Area 3A: Cheltenham and Gloucester
Area 3B: Hereford
Area 3C: South Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (west of the Severn)
Area 3D: North Gloucestershire
Area 3E: South Gloucestershire
Area 4: North Herefordshire
Area 1: Cotswolds
Gigaclear was awarded the contract to deliver phase 2 in the Cotswolds in summer 2015. The first digging for our delivery of ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises to parts of the Cotswolds began in October 2015 and is now complete.
The rollout covered areas of Andoversford, Bibury, Bourton On The Water, Cirencester, Coberley, Coln St.Aldwyn, Cricklade, Fairford, Fossebridge, Guiting Power, Kemble, Kempsford, Lechlade, Miserden, North Cerney, Northleach, Poulton, South Cerney, Southrop, Stow-On-The-Wold, Windrush and Withington not upgraded to faster broadband in Phase 1.
Area 2: Forest of Dean
We have awarded a contract to Gigaclear to deliver the phase 2 rollout in parts of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and the Golden Valley in Herefordshire not upgraded to faster broadband in Phase 1.
Area 3(A-E) & 4: The rest of the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire
Area 3A-B (Cheltenham and Gloucester) and area 3B (Hereford)
We have awarded a contract to BT Group to deliver the phase two rollout
in these areas not upgraded to faster broadband.
Area 3(C-E) & 4: The rest of the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire
We have awarded a contract to Gigaclear to deliver the phase two rollout in these areas not upgraded to faster broadband in Phase 1.
Area 3C (South Herefordshire)
Area 3D (North Gloucestershire)
Area 3E (South Gloucestershire)
Area 4 (North Herefordshire)
To find out if your property is included in this next phase of rollout please use our address checker at the top of the page.
Phase 1 of the Fastershire strategy has provided
approximately 90% of the homes and businesses across Herefordshire and
Gloucestershire with access to superfast broadband and speeds of 30Mbps
Over the next two years, phase 2 of the project’s
strategy will increase total superfast coverage to around 98%, as phase 2 seeks
to provide faster broadband to premises that were not covered by Phase 1 or
Phase 2, Stage 3 – Hereford, Gloucestershire and Cheltenham
Stage 3 of the Fastershire rollout sees BT continuing to
deliver in Hereford, Gloucestershire and Cheltenham and build on their
Phase 2, Stage 3 - Rural Herefordshire and Gloucestershire
Gigaclear has been awarded the Fastershire delivery contract
for rural areas of the county.
Gigaclear is a wholesale network provider and internet
service provider (ISP) who specialise in connecting rural communities by
installing its pure fibre network straight into the property.
Pure fibre, also known as Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) offers a more future-proof solution and
broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps. This technology is not affected by how far
your home is from the network cabinet and the connection is symmetric so you
get the same upload and download speeds.
Phase 2, Stage 4
For the remaining, hardest to
reach properties, Fastershire is using a mix of solutions, including a bespoke
grants and contract extensions.
Fastershire, in partnership with Connecting Shropshire and
Superfast Telford and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund,
have designed the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant.
The grant provides up to 100% of the capital installation
cost for an eligible SME that not be included in Fastershire’s main rollout and
that can demonstrate the economic return.
Fastershire has been awarded funding from the European
Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and has identified a number of
significant property clusters that could benefit from this funding.
The procurement process will be
completed very soon, with contracts awarded in the
summer of 2018 and rollout work following.
For the remaining properties, Fastershire will be exploring
possible contract extensions with BT and Gigaclear to provide access to faster
To read more about the plans please download the full strategy, please click here.
Fastershire, has won the top prize at the national Connected Britain awards in London.The Connected Britain Awards aim to recognise the innovation and achievement of those companies who are at the forefront of Britain’s digital transformation.
KemPowell, Acre Accountancy, Munday Taylor Lamont and Like Radio have become the first businesses in Herefordshire to benefit from a grant, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Fastershire, to enable them to access superfast broadband.
Elmstone Hardwicke, Stoke Orchard, Deerhurst, Portway and Brookthorpe have been announced as the first communities in Gloucestershire that will benefit from the next phase of faster broadband rollout being delivered by Gigaclear through the Fastershire project.
Three Herefordshire businesses have benefited from improved broadband thanks to the Fastershire broadband project.
Eastnor Castle, the Land Rover Experience Eastnor and D3 Active received a grant to fund the installation of a new broadband connection from Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire project. The grant has been used to purchase three lease line providing access to 100Mbps download and upload speeds.
Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council have today recommended awarding the contract to Gigaclear to deliver phase two of the Fastershire broadband rollout in parts of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire and the Golden Valley in Herefordshire.
Visitors and businesses in Hereford will now be able benefit from free WiFi access across the city centre thanks to Faster City. The new network has been launched by Hereford City Life and is a joint partnership Fastershire broadband project, allowing shoppers and businesses access to the internet at no cost and without restrictions on time.
The Cotswolds is the first area of the Fastershire project in phase 2 rollout and has already reached its halfway mark.
The brand new, future-proof pure fibre network has been installed directly at more than to 3,000 homes and businesses.
Get Online Week, from 17-23 October, aims to help people get started using the internet and computers. Herefordshire Council and the Fastershire broadband project are offering a series of free training and drop-in sessions for local people across the county
Students at The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) have been providing free internet and IT training to people who are unfamiliar with computers thanks to funding from the Fastershire broadband project.
Engineers working to deliver faster fibre broadband across Herefordshire have overcome technical challenges to enable around 1,850 homes and businesses in Bromyard to benefit from the ambitious Fastershire programme.
BT have donated satellite technology to the Fastershire campaign for use in the campaign's CREATE:Lab, a mobile training and demonstration facility able to deliver onsite support to businesses and communities across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
A Lechlade church choir helped to sing in the changes as the town, along with Kempsford, became the first in the Cotswolds to benefit from faster fibre broadband through the county's Fastershire project.
Work has started in the first Gloucestershire communities to benefit from the ambitious, multi-million pound project to roll-out faster broadband throughout the county, BT and Gloucestershire County Council announced today.
Work has started in the first Herefordshire communities to benefit from the ambitious, multi-million pound project to roll-out faster broadband available throughout the county, BT and Herefordshire Council announced today.
A £56.6m project to give Herefordshire and Gloucestershire world-class broadband communications within four years was announced today. It is the first broadband initiative of its type to be launched in England in which two local authorities will be working together in partnership.
Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council have recently
updated the Fastershire Broadband Strategy outlining how the project aims to
achieve the vision that… “by the end of 2019/20 all residents and businesses in
Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will be able to order the broadband service
they need and a high percentage will be using faster broadband to do more
online, boost business growth and achieve their potential”
The strategy includes a number of stages (3 and 4) which will be
delivered in part through a series of procurement exercises.
Each stage will be preceded by an Open Market Review (OMR) and state aid
Public Consultation to establish the location of existing and planned (next 3
years) commercial coverage of broadband services across the potential
intervention areas by all existing and any prospective, superfast broadband
The consultation processes for all stage 3 procurements have been
The Viable Clusters element of Stage 4 of the
Fastershire Broadband Strategy will be delivered in partnership with Shropshire
and Telford & Wrekin using EAFRD funding.
The Open Market Review for the Clusters closed on
November 3rd 2017.
Following a series of representations, the intended
intervention area was refined from 15,269 to 13,664 premises with one Cluster
(S11 Church Stretton) being completely removed from the project.
The Public Consultation was published on December
1st 2017 and closed at noon on January 3rd 2017.
representations two clusters (Ludlow and Burwarton) were removed in their
entirety leaving the Final Eligible Intervention Area at 13,156 premises,
mapped as follows.
An Open OJEU procurement process will follow in
early 2018 to identify a supplier or suppliers to deliver the project as a
whole or in part.
The partners hosted an Industry Day for potential
bidders to explain the project, introduce the selected clusters and discuss the
procurement process on Friday 10 November 2017.
As young people now grow up using laptops, tablets and smartphones as if they were second nature, we would like to help them share their skills by teaching a family member how to use the internet.
Fastershire can run competitions with schools across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to encourage students to teach a member of their family the basics of using the internet. At the end of the teaching, the student and the person being taught will be asked to write about the experience and what they've got out of it, and the student will submit this as an entry to the competition.
You can download PDFs of our training guides to use in training sessions or for your own learning...
We invited Primary Schools in Herefordshire to take part in our challenge to create a short film about internet.
Schools were required to produce a 30-60 second film to showcase positive use of the internet and can be an advert, comedy, documentary, ‘how to guide’ or news report.
This film competition is designed not only to help demonstrates the benefits of the internet but also to provide an opportunity for children to use the internet as a learning tool, to search and accesses online resources to help them plan and produce their film.
The Winner - Walford Primary School
Runner up - Ewyas Harold Primary School
Special recognition - Luston Primary School
Better Broadband Scheme
The Better Broadband Scheme has been developed by the UK government and aims to provide access to a basic broadband service that will offer speeds of at least 2Mbps.
The scheme will provide an eligible household and business with a unique ordering code that will cover most of the installation cost of a basic broadband service.
This is available to residents and businesses in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Hereford as well as the rest of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
Households and businesses can take advantage of the scheme if they meet the following three criteria.
Your current broadband download capacity is below 2Mbps.
There are no alternative affordable broadband services available to you which would provide a download speed of at least 2Mbps.
There are no plans to provide superfast broadband to your location (To see if your property is included in Fastershire’s main rollout, please use the address checker above)
If you think you would benefit from a better broadband connection, you can start the process now by following the process and registering below.
How to apply
Review the providers and their products, click here
Start the process by registering below
If you are eligible, you will be sent a unique order code
Using the order code, place an order with your chosen provider
Your chosen provider will arrange installation and will claim the installation cost from Fastershire
Faster broadband is being rolled out across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire between now but it is not possible to flick a switch to make every area go live on the same day and some areas will go live before this. Register your interest today and we will keep you in the loop about developments in your fibre broadband status.