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About Fastershire

About Us

Fastershire is a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to bring faster broadband to the two counties, with funding from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK matched by the local authorities.

  • Phase 1 of the project, in partnership with BT, will see around 90% of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire having access to fibre broadband, with all premises in the project area being able to access a minimum of 2Mbps.
  • Phase 2 of the project will extend fibre coverage further across the county. The Cotswolds is the first area to move into phase 2, with a contract awarded to Gigaclear which will make ultrafast speeds available to over 6,500 of the most difficult to reach rural homes and businesses.

The ultimate aim is that by by the end of 2019/20 there will be access to fast broadband for all who need it. More information on the rollout can be found in our broadband strategy, please click here.

Fastershire is not just about technology. The project also includes social and digital inclusion activities, and an extensive 'Business Support' programme, 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.

The Rollout

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 area will go through its own consultation and procurement process to secure a supplier to carry out the deployment.

Updates for each area can be found below:


Rollout map

Phase 2 Areas

All information, including forecast dates, is indicative only. Forecast dates may move forwards as well as backwards.


  • Area 1: The Cotswolds, comprising premises in milestone area 5 not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 2: The Forest of Dean, comprising premises in milestone area 2 not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3A: Cheltenham and Gloucester not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3B: Hereford not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3C: South Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (west of the Severn) not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3D: North Gloucestershire not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3E: South Gloucestershire not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 4: Comprising premises remaining in north Herefordshire milestone area’s not covered by phase 1 or commercial rollout

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.

Delivery in the Cotswolds is well underway and to date Gigaclear are half way towards the target of 6,500 premises and is expected to complete by summer 2017

Look out for postcards to all addresses which will benefit from this phase of the project. You can also use the Gigaclear line checker to see if your premise is part of this rollout, please click here.

Covers 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.

Please note: If you are not part of this rollout in the Cotswolds, and you did not benefit from Phase 1 or commercial rollout then your address will be considered as part of the Phase 2 rollout across the rest of the county. More details about future plans are available on our Strategy page.

Please note: The phasing and sequence of this rollout is subject to change, and this schedule will be updated to reflect any alterations.

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.
 
Deployment is expected to start in July 2017.

Area 3(A-E) & 4: The rest of the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire

Area 3A-B (Cheltenham and Gloucester) and area 3B (Hereford)
 
The procurement process for these areas has closed and we hope to award the contact shortly. 
 
We will publish details of the deployment when the contact has been signed.   
 
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) - July 2017
  • Area 3D (North Gloucestershire) - September 2017
  • Area 3E (South Gloucestershire) - June 2018
  • Area 4 (North Herefordshire) - TBC 
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.
 

Fastershire Strategy

Phase one of the rollout aimed to provide faster broadband for the majority of homes and businesses across Gloucestershire and Herefordshire by the end of 2016. Additionally, every home and business in the eligible area will have access to the government's Universal Service Commitment of a minimum of 2Mbps.

However, we want to bring faster broadband to more homes and businesses across the two counties. As we gain a clearer picture of what will and will not be achieved by the current contract, and with new funding opportunities now becoming available, we can start to plan how we will reach those homes and businesses which will not experience an uplift in speed as a result of either commercial investment or through the current contract.

Superfast Extension Programme

Herefordshire and Gloucestershire have been provisionally allocated £10.98m additional funding from Central Government to be matched by both authorities. This fund will run from 2015 and aims to achieve 95% fibre coverage nationally.

Alternative Funding

There will be European Regional Development funding available from the next EU programme. Also the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs have announced that the new European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development programme 2013-20 can support NGA Broadband projects in the final 5%.

The revised Fastershire broadband strategy (September 2017) outlines how these funds will be used to meet the project’s ambition, that everyone in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will be able to access the broadband services they need by the end of 2019/20.

The new strategy reflects the changes in technology that are more suited to deploying fibre in rural and hard to reach areas, new providers entering the market as potential suppliers and funding opportunities.

Future stages of the project will focus on the areas that have not been reached and are yet to benefit from fibre broadband. These geographic areas will be broken into five individual lots that will enable us to procure new solutions within these areas.

To read more about the plans please download the full strategy, please click here.

 

Primary School Film Competition 2017

In partnership with Herefordshire Council, we are inviting Primary Schools to take part in our challenge to create a short film about internet.

Schools are 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 opportunities 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 films will be uploaded to the Fastershire website and the film with the most views wins £200 for their school.

Important Dates

  • Final submission:           Friday 8 December
  • Films are published:       Monday 11 December
  • Winner Announced:        Wednesday 13 December

Register 

To take part in the FasterSchools film competition 2017, please complete the online registration form and return to info@fastershire.com
 

Online Resources

To help you get started we have compile some useful resources.

Into Film

Education charity, Into Film, offers support teachers and educators to achieve a wide range of effective learning outcomes in their use of film.

Their website offers free resources about all elements of film making, by age and topic.

www.intofilm.org/resources

Young Film Academy

Young Film Academy helps over 7,500 young people each year complete their first films across the UK and is an official London delivery partner for the BFI Film Academy.

www.youngfilmacademy.co.uk

How to? Storyboard

How to? Sound

How to? Direct

How to? Structure

How to? Light

How to? Edit

How to? Health and Safety

How to? Camera

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.

Eligibility criteria

Households and businesses can take advantage of the scheme if they meet the following three criteria.

  1. Your current broadband download capacity is below 2Mbps.
  2. There are no alternative affordable broadband services available to you which would provide a download speed of at least 2Mbps.
  3. There are no plans to provide superfast broadband to your location
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
  • And you’re ready to go!

Click here to Register >

Click here for a list of Providers >

Events

24 Nov 2017
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FREE Social Media for Care Providers

FREE Social media workshop for care providers, including, nursing homes, residential care homes, domiciliary/home care providers.

 

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, Rotherwas, Hereford HR2 6HL

Date: Friday 24th November 2017

Time: 13:30-15:30

More
30 Nov 2017
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FasterFamers, Basic Computer Housekeeping (Gloucestershire)

Free Basic Computer Housekeeping training, including file management and online security provided by Herefordshire Rural Hub and FasterFamers for farming businesses in Herefordshire & Gloucestershire. Thursday, 30th November, either 9.30am-12.30pm or 1.30pm-4.30pm

 

Location: Tewkesbury Basepoint Centre, Oakfield Close, Tewkesbury Business Park, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 8SD

Date: Thursday 30th November 2017

Time: 09:30-12:30

More
4 Dec 2017
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FasterFarmers, Intermediate Excel Spreadsheet Course (Herefordshire)

Free intermediate Excel spreadsheet course provided by Herefordshire Rural Hub and FasterFamers for farming businesses in Herefordshire.

 

Location: Hereford YFC, Tillington Road, Hereford, HR4 9QJ

Date: Monday 4th December 2017

Time: 10:00-15:00

More
15 Dec 2017
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Digital Advice Clinic - Ask Our Experts

Book onto our free Digital Advice Clinic for one-to-one advice from one of our experts - Frances Davison, Richard Evans, Ben Kinnaird, Jack McCaughtrie and Anna Wilde.

 

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS

Date: Friday 15th December 2017

Time: 10:00-12:00

More

Latest News

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Local businesses boosted by better broadband

9th May, 2017

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.

Read Full Story

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Faster City launches free WiFi network in Hereford City Centre

21st November, 2016

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.

Read Full Story

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Industry Consultations

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 infrastructure providers.

Stage 3

The consultation processes for all stage 3 procurements have been concluded.

Stage 4

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.

An Open Market Review was instigated to refine Intended Intervention Area for this project and closed on Friday 3 November at 12pm (midday). This will be followed by a formal Public Consultation.

The OMR is explained here.

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.

Industry Day

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.
 
 

Faster Schools

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...

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96,516 Fast homes
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702 Kms of
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99 exchange areas
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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.