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Instagram & Pinterest Essentials

Friday 6th April 2018

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.

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Ultrafast Dragon seen in Gloucestershire

15th December, 2015

The Green Dragon Pub in Cowley has become the best connected pub in the UK, with visitors able to download a full length HD film quicker than the time it takes to pull a pint of Guinness.

The pub is the very first business to go live under the Fastershire Phase 2 broadband scheme, delivered in partnership between Gigaclear and Gloucestershire County Council. This marks the start of Gigaclear’s ultrafast pure fibre broadband service coming to thousands of homes and businesses in rural Gloucestershire.

The fastest Internet speeds ever witnessed in the county were recorded today as local residents and members of Gloucestershire County Council gathered to test out Gigaclear’s new Fibre-to-the-Premises technology. Broadband speeds of up to 950 Mbps upload and 950 Mbps download were achieved, with the switch on meaning that staff, customers and guests were able to download a TV episode in 36 seconds, nearly 15 minutes faster than before.

Gigaclear’s ultrafast Internet speeds, which are up to 30 times faster than the UK average, are available as a result of a £7 million investment from Gigaclear and £3m national funding from BDUK and Gloucestershire County Council. Fastershire was the first project in the country to appoint an Internet service provider other than BT, under the government subsidised scheme.

The rollout will now continue, with residents in Coberley, Upper Coberley, Cockleford, Colesbourne, Cowley, Elkstone, Seven Springs and Stockwell, set to have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast Internet service before Christmas. The full rollout schedule to 2017 is available from www.fastershire.com/phase2.

Simon Haly who, with his wife Nicky, manages the Green Dragon Inn said: "We never expected to get anything like this so quickly, especially as we're right in the middle of the countryside. Historically we've hardly had any speed at all; it has been like dial-up! So to go from that to this level of record-breaking speed is incredible.

"It's going to have a big impact on our business too. For instance, around 10-20% of our trade is business-related; we've nine guest rooms and two function rooms. Being able to better serve this community is really important. In fact we had a big business customer say that they'd no longer be able to use us for their meetings if our broadband didn't improve - and that was a year's worth of bookings. So this development today is fantastic news."

In June, Gloucestershire County Council appointed Gigaclear as delivery partner for Fastershire’s phase 2 broadband roll out. The Internet service provider will give 6,500 homes and businesses in the Cotswolds access to broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Matthew Hare, Chief Executive at Gigaclear, said: “This is an extremely exciting time for Gigaclear and for the residents and businesses of the Cotswolds. Providing the Green Dragon Inn with access to the UK’s fastest broadband will make it an even more appealing venue for accommodation, events and socialising. Those coming in for business lunches and meetings can check their emails without having to go back to the office. For local residents, it means they can Skype a friend across the world, download an HD film and do their Christmas shopping online, all at ultrafast speeds without any buffering whatsoever. All in the comfort of this fantastic local pub. We are working hard to get more customers connected before Christmas.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Fastershire’s partnership with Gigaclear is producing ultrafast results just eight weeks after the first digging began, and I’m looking forward to how local residents and businesses like the Green Dragon take advantage of the benefits of enhanced broadband.”

Geoffrey Robert Clifton-Brown, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds, said: “It is brilliant news that the first ultrafast broadband cabinet under the new Fastershire and Gigaclear partnership is being launched. I welcomed this partnership when it was announced, having campaigned during the General Election on the issue of broadband connectivity in The Cotswolds, which is absolutely essential is the modern world. I look forward to many more announcements of this kind.”

Business Stories


Louise Robert, Alimenti Food Sciences

Louise Roberts runs Alimenti Food Sciences and offers technical consultancy to small food and drink businesses. Louise has attended a range of FasterBusiness training sessions and had a one-to-one Business Review with FasterBusiness advisor, Jack McCaughtrie.

Read Full Story

Claire Howlett - Digital future for dairy farm

Claire Howlett runs Wicton Farm, an organic dairy farm in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside, with her brother following the retirement of their parents three years ago. Claire returned to Herefordshire to run the family farm after previously working in Tanzania, Senegal and Cambodia for an international volunteering organisation.

Read Full Story

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Herefordshire Business Broadband Connectivity Forum

14 Mar 2018
Event pic

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

Date: Wednesday 14th March 2018

Time: 12:00-14:00

Herefordshire Business Broadband Connectivity Forum

The Fastershire Broadband Project has joined with the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce to highlight broadband access for local businesses across Herefordshire.

Broadband Delivery Panel and Q&A

Sophia Haywood, Policy Manager at Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Matt Smith, Operations Manager for Fastershire will lead a panel that will outline:

  • The extent of superfast broadband coverage in Herefordshire
  • The different broadband technologies
  • Which broadband technologies and/or providers are available in your area
  • How businesses can benefit from faster broadband
  • Fastershire’s phase 2 rollout and delivery timescale
  • Introduce Fastershire’s business broadband grant and free business support programme
  • Followed by a Q&A and discussion  


This event will also provide you with the opportunity to connect with the suppliers who have delivered or will be delivering better broadband access across the county, as well as a variety of internet service providers and key connectivity organisations.

To see if your business can already access faster broadband or where your premise sits in Fastershire’s plans, please use the address checker function at the top if this page.

To Register

The session will begin promptly at 12pm with a networking lunch, proceeded by presentations and an Q&A. Please confirm your attendance and any dietary requirements to Daisie Rees-Evans at daisier@hwchamber.co.uk.  


View on Google Maps


Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Coldnose Road, Hereford HR2 6JS

Business Broadband Grant

Can your business access up to £25,000 of capital funding to bring high speed connectivity to your premise?

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 will provide up to 100% of the capital installation cost and through our registration portal we aim to help to match your business with potential suppliers who can install your high speed connectivity. 


  • Your business must not be included in Fastershire’s main rollout (To check, please use the address check above)
  • Your business will need to be an small and medium sized enterprise (SME) and operate within an eligible sector
  • You can demonstrate an economic case for high speed connectivity

How to register

Step 1 - Register on the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant portal, click here. Registration is subject to approval and can take up five working days. 
Step 2 - Once approved, you will be required to complete a ‘request for quotation’ form
Step 3 - Suppliers registered under the scheme will then submit quotes and you are able to select your preferred supplier.


Herefordshire Council is committed to ensuring that each business or resident who can prove the need for a Next Generation Access (NGA) connection of over 24Mbps is able to get one. If you receive a basic broadband service, but not an NGA service, through the new network and need to upgrade, there are a number of funding options available.

Who is eligible?

Your eligibility for this additional funding will be assessed upon your expression of interest. The following criteria will be assessed:
  • The application must be for a business or residential premise in Herefordshire
  • The premise or group of premises you are seeking support for must be in the eligible area of Herefordshire
  • The premise or group of premises will not receive NGA through the main project funding
  • You can demonstrate why you need NGA as opposed to the basic provision you will receive as part of the main project

How do I apply?

Because the rollout of the new fibre network is phased, additional funding for each area will only become available once work has started in an area. So applications will be processed in stages:
Step 1 - Submit your expression of interest by filling out the form below
Step 2 - If you are a business the Fastershire team will be in touch to arrange a session with an Objective Advisor to help build your business case.
Step 3 - Once funding becomes available in your area and you are eligible you will be sent an application form to complete
Step 4 - Submit your completed application form by the specified date
Step 5 - The Fastershire project team will inform you of the outcome of your application

Where to buy

Here's a list of business broadband providers who offer packages for businesses connected by Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.

Click here to view FTTP providers >

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) Providers

Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is one of the world's most cutting edge types of fibre broadband with blistering speeds of up to 330Mbps and 1000Mpbs.

If you get enabled with FTTP, you can order it through one of the following Service Providers.

We'll update this page as more ISPs start to offer FTTP.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) Providers

Where to buy

Here's a list of business broadband providers who offer packages for businesses connected by Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.

Click here to view FTTP providers >

Gigaclear Providers

Faster Business Review

The Faster Business Review is a free discussion between you and one of the Faster Business Advisors. The session is tailored to your needs and can cover topics including, social media, online marketing, websites, e-commerce, online security, software and hardware.  

Request a Faster Business Review

To request a FREE business review please complete the registration form at the bottom of the page and one of our business advisors will contact you to arrange your free face to face review.  

Met with a Faster Business Advisor

Faster Business has a network of local experts who are on hand to provide you with a free face to face review. The advisors are all from small business themselves and so bring with them both IT know how and a real understanding of the pressures on small business. They can help you identify ways that IT, enabled by the growing access to faster broadband, can help your business grow or reduce its costs by saving time and money.

Faster Business Social Score

Faster Business Social Score can provide you with a simple, easy to understand monthly report that will allow you to measure how well your business is performing on social media. This will give you a monthly benchmark which can help you track progress and measure the results of your work.

 Faster Business Action Plan

Following your review you will be receive an infographic action plan that includes an indication of your broadband requirements against the speeds you can access, a list of the top 5-10 things you can do to improve the way the business operates and a commentary of your Faster Business Review.

 Faster Business Voucher & Exclusive Offers

With your action plan you will receive £100 worth of Fastershire Vouchers to help you deliver one of the actions. To claim your Faster Business voucher, please click here. These vouchers can be redeemed to pay for software subscriptions, online marketing or even a professional's time. As a Faster Business you will also have access to a range of exclusive offers from local businesses. 

 Faster Business Community

Join the growing number of local businesses across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire that are already benefiting from Faster Business support.

 Faster Business Events

As a Faster Business you can benefit from a range of networking events and training sessions focusing on digital topics relevant to your business, for more information, click here.

Click here to see a range of exclusive offers and discounts > 

Business Review Details

Cost: Free

Location: Your premises (or as arranged)

Discussion topics: Troubleshooting, social media, connectivity, software, hardware but you can drill down into any particular area you feel would most benefit your business.

Duration: The discussion can last anything between a couple of hours and half a day.

What topics do you wish to cover in your review?

Useful Videos

Below is a list of videos from our YouTube channel.

Faster Women

Grow online and boost your business - or craft a new career.

Thanks to funding from the Government Equalities Office we have now run two Faster Women projects to support Herefordshire and Gloucestershire women to develop the digital and internet skills required to setup and develop their businesses. The second project ended in April 2016. We are now offering occasional workshops throughout the year.

Please register your interest through the link below if you would like to be notified when Faster Women workshop dates are confirmed.

If you are part of a local business network organisation that would be interested in providing workshops and training to your members and others please email faster-women@fastershire.com

Faster broadband provides an opportunity for businesses and potential entrepreneurs to take advantage of faster speeds to expand current or set-up new businesses, including home-based businesses, however the Women’s Business Council has found that for women in particular increasing digital confidence and internet know-how is key to this. Thanks to funding from the Government Equalities Office, Fastershire provided Faster Women networking opportunities, workshops and training for women to take advantage of how the internet can boost new and existing businesses.

Calling Digital Ambassadors

Are you a successful business woman working in Herefordshire or Gloucestershire who would like to share how you’ve used the internet to effectively develop a business? Do you make the most of the benefits that using the internet can bring whether it’s marketing through social media, online selling, maintaining a website, cloud computing, running a business from home?

If you’d like to help shape future projects by sharing your own knowledge and experience of successfully using digital technology please get in touch.

Faster Farmers

The Fastershire broadband project and the Herefordshire Rural Hub have come together to create Faster Farmers. 

Faster Farmers aims to help farmers exploit new digital technology and methods of working to expand and grow their business by providing free training and advice. 

For more information, please contact us.  


Faster City

Speeding up your city

The Fastershire broadband project and the Hereford Business Improvement District (HBID) have teamed up to create the Faster City project.

The Faster City project has developed a WiFi city centre scheme in Hereford that delivers three elements:

Icon Hereford boasts the largest retail offer in the county with many of Herefordshire’s key retail and tourism businesses located in a highly concentrated area.

Icon The Faster City project will enhance the shopping experience for consumers and help city centre retailers to understand and exploit the changing market trends

Icon The scheme will also pave the way for other innovations including smart infrastructure including an upgraded CCTV circuit and interactive signage.

Latest News

Faster City launches free WiFi network in Hereford City Centre.

To read the full story, please click here.

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How are we doing

96,516 Fast homes
and businesses
702 Kms of
fibre laid
99 exchange areas
now live
407 cabinets
now live

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Stay in the loop

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.