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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 went through its own consultation and procurement process to secure a supplier to carry out the deployment.

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
  • Area 2: The Forest of Dean
  • Area 3A: Cheltenham and Gloucester
  • Area 3B: Hereford
  • Area 3C: South Herefordshire and Gloucestershire (west of the Severn)
  • Area 3D: North Gloucestershire
  • Area 3E: South Gloucestershire
  • Area 4: North Herefordshire

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 and is now complete. 

The rollout covered 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.

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 1 of the Fastershire strategy has provided approximately 90% of the homes and businesses across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire with access to superfast broadband and speeds of 30Mbps or above.

Over the next two years, phase 2 of the project’s strategy will increase total superfast coverage to around 98%, as phase 2 seeks to provide faster broadband to premises that were not covered by Phase 1 or commercial rollout.


Phase 2

Stage 3 – Hereford, Gloucestershire and Cheltenham

Stage 3 of the Fastershire rollout sees BT continuing to deliver in Hereford, Gloucestershire and Cheltenham and build on their commercial deployment.

Stage 3 - Rural Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

Gigaclear has been awarded the Fastershire delivery contract for rural areas of the county.

Gigaclear is a wholesale network provider and internet service provider (ISP) who specialise in connecting rural communities by installing its pure fibre network straight into the property.

Pure fibre, also known as Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) offers a more future-proof solution and broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps. This technology is not affected by how far your home is from the network cabinet and the connection is symmetric so you get the same upload and download speeds.

Stage 4

For the remaining, hardest to reach properties, Fastershire is using a mix of solutions, including a bespoke grants and contract extensions.

Business Grant

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 provides up to 100% of the capital installation cost for an eligible SME that not be included in Fastershire’s main rollout and that can demonstrate the economic return.

Viable Clusters

Fastershire has been awarded funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and has identified a number of significant property clusters that could benefit from this funding.

Contract Extensions

For the remaining properties, Fastershire will be exploring possible contract extensions with BT and Gigaclear to provide access to faster broadband.

To read more about the plans please download the full strategy, please click here.



21 Oct 2019

Email Skills for Beginners (Coleford Library) - Get Online Week 2019

In this free workshop at Coleford Library you will learn how to set-up an email account, spot scam emails, send and receive emails and attach documents.


Location: Coleford Library, The Main Place, Railway Drive, Coleford, GL16 8RH

Date: Monday 21st October 2019

Time: 14:00-16:00

22 Oct 2019

How to use your Tablet (Ross-on-Wye Library) - Get Online Week 2019

This session will help teach you the basics of how to use a tablet. As part of national Get Online Week 2019, Fastershire is providing a free introduction to training sessions to help more people get online.


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

Date: Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Time: 10:00-12:00

22 Oct 2019

Public Services Online for Beginners (Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project) - Get Online Week

More and more utilities and banking services are now available online, which can help save you both time and money. This includes many Government and Local Authority services.


Location: Hesters Way Neighbourhood Project, Hesters Way Community Resource Centre, Cassin Drive, Cheltenham, GL51 7SU

Date: Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Time: 13:00-15:00

25 Oct 2019

Customer Engagement Essentials

In this FREE training session, Faster Business advisor, Anna Wilde, will help you improve your customer engagement.


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

Date: Friday 25th October 2019

Time: 12:00-14:00

7 Nov 2019

Social Media Essential - FasterFarmers (Gloucestershire)

An introduction to using social media for farming and rural businesses based in Gloucestershire. This session offers you an introduction to using social media to promote your business and is ideal if you have little or no experience of Facebook, Twitter or blogging.


Location: Guiting Manor Farm, Winchcombe Road, Guiting Power, Gloucestershire, GL54 5UX

Date: Thursday 7th November 2019

Time: 09:30-12:30

15 Nov 2019

Email Marketing Essentials (Gloucester)

In this FREE training session, Faster Business advisors, Mandy Sims and Catherine Banks, will help you understand the benefit of email marketing and how to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.


Location: Civic Suite (3rd floor), North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Friday 15th November 2019

Time: 12:00-14:30

29 Nov 2019

Good Housekeeping For Your Computer (Hereford)

In this FREE training session, Faster Business advisor, Frances Davison, will show a range of practical tips to ensure your PC functions correctly.


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

Date: Friday 29th November 2019

Time: 12:00-14:00


Latest News

Ultrafast broadband for rural Herefordshire

24th April, 2017

Over 8,000 homes and businesses will see major investment in a new full fibre network across Herefordshire resulting in some of the fastest broadband speeds in the country

Herefordshire Council has now signed a contract with Gigaclear to deliver phase 2 of the Fastershire project.  Gigaclear specialises in connecting rural communities by installing pure fibre straight into the home which offers a future-proof solution and broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps. This will enable some of the hardest to reach homes and businesses across the county to have access to ultrafast broadband under phase 2 of the Fastershire rollout.  

This new rollout will build on what has already been achieved in phase 1 of the project, with over 30,000 premises in the county now able to access a superfast broadband service. As part of the national government and Herefordshire Council funding, this new deployment aims to support the economic vitality and sustain thriving communities across the county and is in addition to BT’s delivery of fibre broadband in more urban areas.  

Leader of Herefordshire Council, Cllr Tony Johnson, said: “This is a major step forward, not only will more communities and businesses have access to fast and reliable internet, but Fastershire is starting to lead the UK in the rollout of full fibre. We’re committed to ensuring that Herefordshire has a broadband network that will benefit the county for many years to come.”

Joe Frost from Gigaclear said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Herefordshire Council, connecting more than 8,000 additional homes and businesses to our ultrafast pure fibre network. Work is due to start this summer and there is no doubt that this will continue to be socially and economically transformative for the most isolated, rural areas of Herefordshire.”

Fastershire has a further contract to award to cover Hereford city and is expected to be announced in June.

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. 


Primary School Filmmaking Competition 2018

We're inviting Primary Schools across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire to take part in our filmmaking challenge to create a short film about internet.

Schools are 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.

The competition is designed to help demonstrates the benefits of the internet but also to provide an opportunities 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 films will be uploaded to the Fastershire website and the film with the most views wins £200 for their school.

The 2017 Winner - Walford Primary School, Herefordshire


To take part in the FasterSchools filmmaking competition 2018, please complete the online registration form and return to info@fastershire.com

Online Resources

To help you get started we've compiled some useful resources and 'how to' videos.

Into Film

Into Film is an Education charity that offers support to teachers and educators to achieve a wide range of effective learning outcomes in their use of film.

Their website offers free resources about all elements of film making, by age and topic.


Young Film Academy

Young Film Academy helps over 7,500 young people each year complete their first films across the UK and is an official London delivery partner for the BFI Film Academy.


How to? Storyboard

How to? Sound

How to? Direct

How to? Structure

How to? Light

How to? Edit

How to? Health and Safety

How to? Camera

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...

Introduction for helpers

Better Broadband Scheme

The Government's Better Broadband Scheme aims to help provide access to a basic broadband service that will offer download speeds of at least 10 Mbps.

The Better Broadband Scheme, developed by the UK government, provides a voucher worth up to £350 for basic broadband installation to homes and businesses that will not benefit from superfast broadband. 

The eligibility criteria for the scheme is as follows;

  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 rollout, please use the website address above)

 For more information or to apply, please visit the Government's Better Broadband Scheme website.

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How are we doing

96,516 Faster homes & 
99 exchange areas
now live
7,000 km of
fibre laid
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.