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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 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:


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, comprising premises in milestone area 5 not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 2: The Forest of Dean, comprising premises in milestone area 2 not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3A: Cheltenham and Gloucester not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3B: Hereford not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3C: South Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (west of the Severn) not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3D: North Gloucestershire not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 3E: South Gloucestershire not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout
  • Area 4: Comprising premises remaining in north Herefordshire milestone area’s not covered by phase 1 or commercial rollout

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.

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.

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 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.

Superfast Extension Programme

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.

Alternative Funding

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.

 

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 >

Events

22 Jun 2018
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Introduction to email (Ross-on-Wye)

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

 

Location: The Larruperz Centre, Grammar School Close, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7QD

Date: Friday 22nd June 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00

More
26 Jun 2018
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How to use your tablet computer (Ross-on-Wye)

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

Date: Tuesday 26th June 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00

More
11 Jul 2018
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Social Media workshop - for charities, voluntary organisations and community groups

Social media has quickly become an essential tool for all charities, but how can you make social media work for your charity? In this workshop, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, will focus on the importance of a social media and making it realistic and manageable for your charity.

 

Location: Saxon Hall, Hoarwithy Road, Hereford HR2 6HE

Date: Wednesday 11th July 2018

Time: 12:00-14:30

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17 Jul 2018
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How to use your tablet computer (Kington Library)

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

Date: Tuesday 17th July 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

More
17 Jul 2018
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How to use a smartphone (Ledbury 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: Ledbury Library, The Master's House, Bye Street, Ledbury, HR8 1EA

Date: Tuesday 17th July 2018

Time: 16:00-18:00

More
19 Jul 2018
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Introduction to email (Leominster Library)

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

 

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

Date: Thursday 19th July 2018

Time: 10:00-12:00

More
20 Jul 2018
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Facebook Advertising Essentials

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: Regus Building, North Warehouse, The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Friday 20th July 2018

Time: 12:00-14:00

More
24 Jul 2018
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How to use a smartphone (Ross-on-Wye)

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

Date: Tuesday 24th July 2018

Time: 17:00-19:00

More

Latest News

Have your say! Survey of broadband availability across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

2nd November, 2016
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Residents and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are being invited to contribute to a major survey of broadband availability across the two counties.

The survey is being undertaken by independent researchers at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) as part of the 'Evaluation of the impact of superfast fibre broadband in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire' due to be published in 2017.

The survey will be live until the end of November and the responses will directly feed into to the Fastershire project. The results will also help demonstrate the level of demand in communities that are yet to benefit from the Fastershire rollout and help raise their profile for better broadband with potential suppliers.

The survey takes around 5 minutes to complete, with questions relating to how residents and businesses currently use broadband and internet services and where better broadband services are required.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, and Cllr Harlow, Herefordshire Council cabinet member for economy and corporate services, responsible for the Fastershire project said, “Whether or not you live or work in one of the over 100,000 premises in the two counties that have benefited from Fastershire so far we hope as many people as possible complete the survey. The survey will allow us to accurately assess the impact the Fastershire project has made to those who already have access to superfast broadband, but more importantly the survey will give those communities who are yet to benefit an opportunity to have their say.”

Fastershire is in the process of tendering a second phase of rollout valued at £20m that will see faster broadband extend further across the both counties. The results of the survey will be presented to prospective suppliers and could help influence which areas they target in their bids.

To complete the survey, please visit - www.broadband-feedback.com.

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...

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96,516 Fast homes
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7,000 km of
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99 exchange areas
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621 cabinets
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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.