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.
The ultimate aim is that 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Increasing these social media platforms are playing a more prominent role in customers’ purchasing decisions and how they engage with products and services. In this FREE workshop, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, will explain how your business can utilise Instagram and Pinterest.
Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS
Date: Friday 6th April 2018
In this FREE workshop from Faster Business our advisor, Ben Kinnaird, will share with you advice for deciding where and when to advertise, creating interesting adverts and tips for convincing people to click through to your website.
Location: Meeting Room 1, Regus Building, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP
Date: Friday 20th April 2018
In this FREE workshop, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, will help you understand how you can use Facebook adverts for increased conversions, decreased costs and find new customers.
Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS
Date: Friday 27th April 2018
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.
The consultation processes for all stage 3 procurements have been concluded.
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.
Following further 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.
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.
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.