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About Fastershire

About Us

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.

 

 

 

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


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
  • 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.

Fastershire Strategy

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 or above.

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 commercial rollout.

 

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 commercial deployment.

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.

Business Grant

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.

Viable Clusters

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.

Contract Extensions

For the remaining properties, Fastershire will be exploring possible contract extensions with BT and Gigaclear to provide access to faster broadband.

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

 

Events

21 Aug 2018
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How to use a smartphone (Kington Library)

Learn the basics of how to use a smartphone, from learning about apps, picking up emails, using the internet and how to connect to our library WiFi.

 

Location: Kington Library, 64 Bridge Street, Kington, HR5 3DJ

Date: Tuesday 21st August 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

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21 Aug 2018
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Introduction to email (Ledbury Library)

Learn how to set-up an email account, send and receive emails and attachments. Laptops will be provided for the session

 

Location: Ledbury Library, The Master's House, Bye Street, Ledbury, HR8 1EA

Date: Tuesday 21st August 2018

Time: 16:00-18:00

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28 Aug 2018
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Introduction to email (Ross-on-Wye Library)

Learn how to set-up an email account, send and receive emails and attachments. Laptops will be provided for the session

 

Location: Ross-on-Wye Library, 7 Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7AN

Date: Tuesday 28th August 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00

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11 Sep 2018
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Digital VAT (Herefordshire) - Faster Farmers

The UK government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) vision intends to make the UK’s tax system the most digitally-advanced in the world. Fastershire along with the Herefordshire Rural Hub are partnering to provide free Digital VAT workshops.

 

Location: Stretton Sugwas Village Hall, Stretton Sugwas, Hereford, HR4 7PT

Date: Tuesday 11th September 2018

Time: 11:30-14:30

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11 Sep 2018
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Digital VAT (Herefordshire) - Faster Farmers

The UK government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) vision intends to make the UK’s tax system the most digitally-advanced in the world. Fastershire along with the Herefordshire Rural Hub are partnering to provide free Digital VAT workshops.

 

Location: Alexandra Park, Court-Y-Park, Pixley, Ledbury, HR8 2RW

Date: Tuesday 11th September 2018

Time: 18:30-21:30

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13 Sep 2018
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Digital VAT (Gloucestershire) - Faster Farmers

The UK government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) vision intends to make the UK’s tax system the most digitally-advanced in the world. Fastershire along with the Herefordshire Rural Hub are partnering to provide free Digital VAT workshops.

 

Location: The Rural Innovation Centre, Manor Farm, Harnhill, Cirencester, GL7 5PU

Date: Thursday 13th September 2018

Time: 11:30-14:30

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18 Sep 2018
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Introduction to email (Kington Library)

Learn how to set-up an email account, send and receive emails and attachments. Laptops will be provided for the session

 

Location: Kington Library, 64 Bridge Street, Kington, HR5 3DJ

Date: Tuesday 18th September 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

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18 Sep 2018
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Introduction to the internet (Ledbury Library)

In this free session you will learn how to search the internet safely and effectively. Laptops will be provided for the session.

 

Location: Ledbury Library, The Master's House, Bye Streey, Ledbury, HR8 1EA

Date: Tuesday 18th September 2018

Time: 16:00-18:00

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20 Sep 2018
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Introduction to the internet (Leominster Library)

In this free session you will learn how to search the internet safely and effectively. Laptops will be provided for the session.

 

Location: Leominster Library, 8 The Buttercross, Leominster, HR6 8BN

Date: Thursday 20th September 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

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25 Sep 2018
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Introduction to the internet (Ross-on-Wye Library)

In this free session you will learn how to search the internet safely and effectively. Laptops will be provided for the session.

 

Location: Ross-on-Wye Library, 7 Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7AN

Date: Tuesday 25th September 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00

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16 Oct 2018
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Introduction to the internet (Kington Library)

As part of national Get Online Week 2018, Fastershire is providing a free introduction to the internet training session. Learn how to search the internet safely and effectively.

 

Location: Kington Library, 64 Bridge Street, Kington, HR5 3DJ

Date: Tuesday 16th October 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

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16 Oct 2018
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Introduction to email (Ledbury Library)

As part of national Get Online Week 2018, Fastershire is providing a free introduction to email training session. Learn how to set-up an email account, send and receive emails and attachments. Laptops will be provided for the session

 

Location: Ledbury Library, The Master's House, Bye Street, Ledbury HR8 1EA

Date: Tuesday 16th October 2018

Time: 16:00-18:00

More
18 Oct 2018
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How to use your tablet computer (Leominster Library)

As part of national Get Online Week 2018, Fastershire is providing a free how to use your tablet training session. Learn the basics of how to use a tablet, from learning about apps, picking up emails, using the internet and how to connect to our library wi-fi.

 

Location: Leominster Library, 8 The Buttercross, Leominster, HR6 8BN

Date: Thursday 18th October 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

More
23 Oct 2018
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Introduction to email (Ross-on-Wye Library)

As part of national Get Online Week 2018, Fastershire is providing a free introduction to email training session. Learn how to set-up an email account, send and receive emails and attachments. Laptops will be provided for the session

 

Location: Ross-on-Wye Library, 7 Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7AN

Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00

More

Latest News

National recognition for broadband coverage in Chedworth

23rd July, 2018
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The Connected Britain awards have recognised the work undertaken in the Gloucestershire village of Chedworth by Gigaclear, under the Fastershire project, in the Community Improvement award.

The awards that took place in London recently aim to promote the innovation and achievement of those companies who are at the forefront of Britain’s digital transformation.

Gloucestershire County Council’s, Fastershire Broadband Project, in partnership with Herefordshire Council, is funding the delivery of faster broadband to homes and businesses across the two counties.

Gigaclear were awarded the Fastershire delivery contract for the Cotswolds in 2015 and have provided ultrafast broadband to premises across the Cotswolds, of which Chedworth was one of the villages enabled. Gigaclear specialise in transforming digital communications in rural communities by installing a new pure fibre broadband network offering speeds from 50 through 1000Mbps.

Councillor Lynden Stowe, Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills and Growth and responsibility for Fastershire said, “We’re committed to ensuring that homes and businesses can access faster broadband and it is wonderful that Fastershire’s work with Gigaclear in Chedworth has received this award.

Fastershire’s rollout is continuing in others areas of the county and over the next two years the project will have increased superfast coverage to 98%.”

Local county councillor, Paul Hodgkinson, said, “Broadband access is vital for a rural community like Chedworth and the parish council, residents and myself have long petitioned for improved broadband speeds.

We’re delighted that Chedworth is not only accessing faster broadband but is now amongst some of the best connected communities in the country.”

Joe Frost, Gigaclear Business Development Director, said, “Chedworth is one of many villages in the Cotswolds where we and Fastershire have transformed communications.  Almost 500 residential and business properties throughout the village are now able to benefit from an ultrafast boost, catapulting them from their 1-3Mbps up to 1000Mbps today”.

To find out if your property can already access faster broadband or where your property sits in the Fastershire rollout, please use the address checker at the top of the page.

 

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.

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.

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 2017. 

 

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...

Introduction for helpers

Primary School Film Competitio

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.

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 (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
  • And you’re ready to go!

Click here to Register >

Click here for a list of Providers >

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96,516 Fast homes
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