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Local businesses boosted by better broadband

9th May, 2017

Three Herefordshire businesses have benefited from improved broadband thanks to the Fastershire broadband project. Eastnor Castle, the Land Rover Experience Eastnor and D3 Active received a grant to fund the installation of a new broadband connection from Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire project. The grant has been used to purchase three lease line providing access to 100Mbps download and upload speeds.

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Faster City launches free WiFi network in Hereford City Centre

21st November, 2016

Visitors and businesses in Hereford will now be able benefit from free WiFi access across the city centre thanks to Faster City. The new network has been launched by Hereford City Life and is a joint partnership Fastershire broadband project, allowing shoppers and businesses access to the internet at no cost and without restrictions on time.

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Jacqui Grocott, JacMac Designs - Designs for a Faster Business

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"There’s a whole raft of very capable people out there, women like me, who have a small business or even an idea for a business but who feel left behind by technology. That’s why this support has been so important; it’s offered me a way to bridge that gap, to step up."

Jacqui Grocott creates luxury hand drawn and illustrated stationery, greetings cards and prints from her home in rural Herefordshire. After designing for a number of years, Jacqui finally went full-time with her business JacMac Designs in October 2015.

"I was beginning to feel like technology was not my friend but these sessions have taught me so much about promoting my business and selling my products online."

Getting Social

Jacqui has attended a range of digital training sessions run by the Faster Women and Faster Business programmes covering topics like social media, selling online and data management.

"One of the key lessons I’ve learnt is about scheduling my social media posts, and how’s it’s important to achieve the appropriate frequency, use a variety of content, from pictures to video, and also to think more creatively about the ways I communicate.

"As a result of the training I managed to increase my reach with social media to help grow my business, I’ve made improvement to my website, I’ve made a promotion video, and ultimately, I’ve managed to used IT and digital technology to improve my work-life balance."

Benefits of expert advice

Jacqui also had a one-to-one Business Review with a Faster Business advisor.

"The review was fantastic because it was completely tailored to my business. The advisor came to my house and we went through every aspect of my business. Having someone there who really understands what they’re talking about and has an objective eye is so helpful.She was able to not only to point out areas where I could improve and develop but also to let me know what I had done well which was fantastic for my confidence."

"Simple things have made such a difference. For example, I hadn’t mentioned anywhere on my website that I illustrate all my products. Since I’ve added that simple message to my website and all other areas of my marketing, including the events and exhibitions I attend, I’ve seen my sales increase dramatically. I’ve also improved my logo and branding and that has helped me to orientate my business towards new markets."

"The advisor helped me optimise my search engine ranking as I didn’t really understand anything about SEO before. I set up my Etsy page and my website about two years ago and I thought that was it, I thought that customers would just come, but it doesn’t work like that!"

The future’s looking bright

Improving how JacMac Designs functions online has also given Jacqui the confidence to do more offline.

"Despite my initial terror at pitching my business, I recently travelled to London to a small business workshop and pitched my products to Country Living magazine, something that would have seemed unimaginable a year ago.’"

"I’m so grateful for all the help, support and training I’ve received. My business has really benefited and I would thoroughly recommend getting involved."

Find out more about JacMac Designs: www.jacmacstationery.com

Online Tools & Training


16 May 2017
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Location: Civic Suite, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Tuesday 16th May 2017

Time: 12:00-14:00

There is a vast array of online tools and training that can help you become more efficient and productive in your business.

Faster Business advisor, Frances Davison, will profile the online tools and training that can help you improve your website, how you manage your social media accounts as well as learn about the 100’s of tutorials and tips for pretty much anything IT related.  

A complimentary lunch and refreshments will be provided for all attendees as well as a time to network.

To register to attend this event, please click here


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EVENT LOCATION

Civic Suite, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

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. 


Eligibility  

  • 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.

Passport

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 Cabinet (FTTC) 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.





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.