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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
For the remaining, hardest to
reach properties, Fastershire is using a mix of solutions, including a bespoke
grants and contract extensions.
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.
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.
For the remaining properties, Fastershire will be exploring
possible contract extensions with BT and Gigaclear to provide access to faster
To read more about the plans please download the full strategy, please click here.
Fastershire is providing a free introduction to the internet training session at Ross-on-Wye Library. Learn how to search the internet safely and effectively, how to find the information you need and recognise safe websites.
How to search for jobs online (including tips on how to easily find what you're looking for), registering and uploading your CV to job sites, and applying for jobs using your uploaded CV or web application forms.
Work steams ahead bringing fibre broadband to parts of rural Herefordshire
13th August, 2019
Commercial pilot and farmer Andy Jones in Collington is just one of 164 residents and businesses in and around Tedstone Wafre, Herefordshire now able to enjoy the benefits of superfast fibre broadband after years of low broadband speeds.
The fibre to the premises (FTTP) solution is part of stage 4 of Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire project.
Under the Fastershire contract, part funded by the by the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme and managed by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs using the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), Airband are providing access to 10 dispersed clusters of premises spread across the county.
Airband is an independent internet service provider which specialises in bringing high speed broadband to homes, business and industry across rural and hard-to-reach areas.
Airband’s Marches project manager, Martin Cumming, said he was very pleased with the project’s progress:
“It has been a pleasure engaging with the people in this area – they have been very helpful and supportive and are keen to enjoy faster broadband both for themselves and the rest of their community.
“We are going to be working in and around Leintwardine from July and Brimfield in August and then we will be heading towards Hereford, down as far as Much Marcle – so you can expect to see Airband vans, and lots of friendly Airband engineers out and about in these areas!”
Andy Jones is a commercial pilot living on a smallholding with his wife and children in Collington. His wife is an HR consultant for the NHS and often works remotely.
“We were scraping by with incredibly low broadband speeds which made life very challenging. “I lobbied BT for 10 years, I was so relieved when I found out we were able to get fibre to the premises with Airband as part of the Fastershire project.
“We now have 80 Mbps upload and download – which is great! My wife is able to work remotely and we can run all kinds of snazzy gadgets.,” he said.
Councillor Shaw, ward member Bromyard Bringsty said, “Faster broadband is so vital in rural areas and this is a wonderful boost for the communities in and around Tedstone Wafre.
“Fastershire’s investment in faster broadband means that more of the harder to reach parts of Herefordshire can benefit from faster broadband and the ability to work from home, run multiple devices will ultimately make the county a better place to live and work.”
Currently over 88% of Herefordshire properties can access a 30mbps or greater service, increasing to 97% under phase 2.
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
The consultation processes for all stage 3 procurements have been
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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...
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;
Your current broadband download
capacity is below 2Mbps
There are no alternative
affordable broadband services available to you which would provide a
download speed of at least 2Mbps
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)
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.