Ross-on-Wye became the first Fastershire community to get fibre
23rd November, 2013
Students from John Kyrle High School, who are studying for a GCSE in information and communications technology, joined representatives from Herefordshire Council and BT to mark the important milestone.
Engineers from Openreach, BT's network business, who are building and installing the new fibre network, gave the teenagers an insight into how the new technology works and the process involved to get people connected to the new network. The visit was specifically tailored to support their ICT studies.
After visiting Ross-on-Wye telephone exchange, everyone tracked the route of the new fibre optic network to a nearby street-side cabinet to understand the next part of the installation process.
More than 3,000 premises in Ross can now connect to the new network. This figure will rise to just under 7,000 premises when engineers complete the upgrade work in the coming months.
Ross households and businesses are able to order fibre broadband from a wide range of internet service providers as the network is open to all providers on an open, wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices.
Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet lead for broadband for Herefordshire Council, said: "Bringing faster broadband to Herefordshire is vital to the county's economic growth and future. This is fantastic news for Ross-on-Wye and a key milestone for the project, with 3,000 homes and businesses able to take advantage of the new network right now and more to follow.
"The rollout to the rest of the county is continuing to gather pace and will see many more people benefitting from faster broadband by the end of 2016."
Nick Wood, BT's senior manager for Herefordshire, said: "The internet is playing an increasingly important part in all our lives – whether it's small businesses keeping in touch with their customers and suppliers, children doing their homework or playing interactive games online, grandparents staying in touch with their grandchildren, or people working from home. Each of these things is made easier, quicker and better by faster fibre broadband."
Lisa Lown, ICT teacher at John Kyrle High School, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our GCSE students here at John Kyrle High School to see the latest broadband technology in action.
"It will extend their learning and will be particularly useful when it comes to applying that knowledge in their exam next June."
Among the next Herefordshire communities to benefit will be Much Marcle, Symonds Yat, Upton Bishop and St Weonards.