Stage 4 Cluster Rollout Contracts Awarded
14th August, 2018
Some of the hardest to reach homes and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are set to benefit from faster broadband as part of the Viable Clusters element of Stage 4 of the Fastershire Broadband Strategy.
Fastershire has been awarded funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) to extend superfast broadband to those premises that have yet to be enabled by Fastershire under stage 1 and 2 and are not included in the stage 3 contracts with Gigaclear or BT.
The procurement process to engage network supplier(s) to carry out the deployment completed in June 2018 and Fastershire now intends to award contracts to Airband and Voneus to provide broadband to 17 clusters in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, subject to BDUK approval.
Airband is set to be awarded the rollout contracts for clusters that cover parts of Foy & Brockhampton, Dormington & Lugwardine, Putley & Tarrington, Brampton Bryan, Staunton & Stansbatch, Richards Castle & Little Hereford, South Kington & Hergest, Tedstone Wafre, Madley & Credenhill, Monkhide & Yarkhill in Herefordshire as well as Oxenton in Gloucestershire that are not already covered and will see a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) service delivered over the next 2 years.
Voneus is set to be awarded the rollout contracts for clusters that cover parts of the Slaughters, Maisemore, Sharpness & Newton, Hatherop and Fairford in Gloucestershire to provide a very High Speed Fixed Wireless service.
The extent and detail of the rollout for each cluster area will be available via the address checker once all agreements are in place.
The nature of the legally required open procurement process means Fastershire relies on bids received and unfortunately, not all cluster areas or ‘lots’ were bid for. Fastershire made every effort to engage a supplier for all lots and extended the procurement process in June to allow potential suppliers another chance to bid for these lots. For those that benefit this will come as welcome news but the fact that some will not, provides a stark demonstration of the difficulty of reaching these places regardless of the availability of significant levels of funding.
For those unsuccessful clusters, businesses can apply for business broadband grant, and for residents, Fastershire will continue to strive for further coverage of superfast broadband. Those premises that currently access broadband download capacity below 2Mbps can still take advantage of the Better Broadband Scheme, for more information, please click here.