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Ross-on-Wye became the first Fastershire community to get fibre

23rd November, 2013

Students from John Kyrle High School, who are studying for a GCSE in information and communications technology, joined representatives from Herefordshire Council and BT to mark the important milestone.

Engineers from Openreach, BT's network business, who are building and installing the new fibre network, gave the teenagers an insight into how the new technology works and the process involved to get people connected to the new network. The visit was specifically tailored to support their ICT studies.

After visiting Ross-on-Wye telephone exchange, everyone tracked the route of the new fibre optic network to a nearby street-side cabinet to understand the next part of the installation process.

More than 3,000 premises in Ross can now connect to the new network. This figure will rise to just under 7,000 premises when engineers complete the upgrade work in the coming months.

Ross households and businesses are able to order fibre broadband from a wide range of internet service providers as the network is open to all providers on an open, wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices.

Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet lead for broadband for Herefordshire Council, said: "Bringing faster broadband to Herefordshire is vital to the county's economic growth and future. This is fantastic news for Ross-on-Wye and a key milestone for the project, with 3,000 homes and businesses able to take advantage of the new network right now and more to follow.

"The rollout to the rest of the county is continuing to gather pace and will see many more people benefitting from faster broadband by the end of 2016."

Nick Wood, BT's senior manager for Herefordshire, said: "The internet is playing an increasingly important part in all our lives – whether it's small businesses keeping in touch with their customers and suppliers, children doing their homework or playing interactive games online, grandparents staying in touch with their grandchildren, or people working from home. Each of these things is made easier, quicker and better by faster fibre broadband."

Lisa Lown, ICT teacher at John Kyrle High School, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for our GCSE students here at John Kyrle High School to see the latest broadband technology in action.

"It will extend their learning and will be particularly useful when it comes to applying that knowledge in their exam next June."

Among the next Herefordshire communities to benefit will be Much Marcle, Symonds Yat, Upton Bishop and St Weonards.


Simultaneous use

With a slow internet connection you can have problems doing more than one thing at a time online. With faster broadband the whole family can be online doing homework, watching iPlayer, keeping in touch with friends on Skype or Facetime and doing the weekly shop all at the same time without any time delay or frozen screen.


Work from home

Working from home can now be as fast and effective as working from the office. This could save you time and money, as well as helping you to achieve a better work life balance. With faster broadband you could even consider setting up your own business from home as you would have the world class connectivity that could give you the edge.


Keep files in the cloud

Store photos, documents, music and videos online in the cloud rather than on the computer at home. Your files will be kept safe and you can access them anywhere. Fast upstream speeds mean backing up files is done in the blink of an eye.


Stream films & TV shows in seconds

With faster broadband you can download the latest blockbuster before the kettle has boiled or watch your favourite TV show online instantly.


Take an online learning course

With faster broadband you can study online with flexible hours and video tutorials that work immediately.


Maintain independence

New telecare services mean that people who are unwell, have a disability or older people can stay safe and independent at home.

Stream films & TV shows in seconds

Did you know that you can now access a whole host of council services and information online, such as reporting a pothole, paying your council tax, finding out when your rubbish or recycling will be collected and checking library opening times?

Visit: Do it online in Herefordshire Visit: Do it online in Gloucestershire

Home Stories

Pudleston in north Herefordshire is one of the communities that we be fibre enabled under phase 2 of the Fastershire rollout. Phase 2 will be delivered by Gigaclear and will provide a new full fibre network and access to speeds up to 1000mbps.

In these community diaries the residents of Pudleston will document their experiences throughout the deployment. 

To see if your property is included in phase 2 or if you can already access faster broadband, please use the address checker above.


Pudleston Community

In this piece, the community introduce their home, Pudleston, located in north Herefordshire and is one of the communities that we be fibre enabled under phase 2 of the Fastershire rollout delivered by Gigaclear.

Read Full Story

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Internet Training

Keep Connected Grant

'Keep Connected' Grant to help not-for-profit groups/organisations in Herefordshire adapt their services as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The 'Keep Connected' grant is being offered by Herefordshire Council and Fastershire to help groups and organisations in Herefordshire change their approach so that they can continue to deliver their activity, service or support during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

Groups and organisations can access a grant up to £500 to fund new software subscriptions, online platforms or technology, such as microphones, headsets, cameras or large screens, and will have access to free expert support to help them set-up and operate the new technology. Community groups, registered charities, Social Enterprises, Community Interest Companies and Parish/Town Councils may apply. 

Click here for essential information to read before applying.  Click here for an application form. (Please note that applications for Laptops are likely to be refused.)

Community groups looking for non-digital support should contact their local Talk Community Hubs project manager by emailing talkcommunityhubs@herefordshire.gov.uk .  
Training pic

Go-online@fastershire Grant funding to help community organisations, groups and clubs in Herefordshire

Local community organisations, groups, clubs and other not-for-profit organisations in Herefordshire can apply for up to £2,500 funding to arrange internet support and training so that local people can make the most of the benefits of going online.

Click here for further information and an application form or email go-online@fastershire.com




Free 'Introduction to the Internet' sessions for communities in Herefordshire

Do you know of a group or club in your community in Herefordshire who would like to find out more about using the internet and the benefits of going online? 

Fastershire can arrange for a tutor to bring laptops and tablets to the group’s usual meeting place, or another venue with internet access, to demonstrate how to send emails, search for information about the local area, or shop or pay bills online, and then support them to ‘have a go’ themselves. 

To find out more please email go-online@fastershire.com. These free sessions could lead to a longer course for those who are interested in developing their skills at going online. These face-to-face group sessions are currently unable to take place due to COVID-19 restrictions, however please do get in touch if you would like us to let you know when they restart.



Online Training Resources

Learn My Way (www.learnmyway.com) is a website of free online courses for beginners, helping you to develop digital skills to make the most of the online world.  It's also got courses and resources to help you inspire people in your community to use the internet and help them improve their digital skills - including a 'How to be a Digital Champion' course.  

We also have a whole host of training guides here that you can download for your own learning or to use when training someone else.

Computer Training in Herefordshire

There are many organisations across Herefordshire who regularly offer computer courses and support for beginners. Information about just some of the training offered is available here.  Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, please contact the organiser for up-to-date information on whether they are open and offering training.

For details of the free monthly workshops at Libraries in Herefordshire visit our events page.  These aren't running currently due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Please complete the form and we will contact you as soon as this changes. 

Details of beginners' computer courses offered by Adult Education in Gloucestershire are here.  Please contact them for up-to-date information on whether they are currently able to offer training. 

If you would like to be notified about beginners’ computer courses offered by organisations in Herefordshire please complete this form.  

Where to buy

Here's a list of home broadband providers who offer packages for homes 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 premises (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 1000Mbps.

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.

Where to buy

Here's a list of home broadband providers who offer packages for homes connected to Gigaclear's ultrafast broadband network, with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.

Gigaclear Providers

Faster Events

8 Dec 2020

Fastershire Community Meeting (Stone)

Fastershire and Gigaclear are hosting a community meeting to explain the rollout of ultrafast fibre broadband in network build area, Stone.


Location: Online Meeting

Date: Tuesday 8th December 2020

Time: 18:30-19:30

16 Dec 2020

Fastershire Community Meeting (Stroat and Woodcroft)

Fastershire and Gigaclear are hosting a community meeting to explain the rollout of ultrafast fibre broadband in network build areas, Stroat and Woodcroft.


Location: Online Meeting

Date: Wednesday 16th December 2020

Time: 18:30-19:30


FREE Beginners' Training

Get the most out of the internet with FREE training from Fastershire in Ross-on-Wye and Cinderford.

Booking is essential, please call 01432 260026.

No experience is necessary and equipment will be provided if required.  


The Larruperz Centre, Grammar School Close, HR9 7QD

How to use your tablet
Wednesday 6 June, 2pm-4pm

How to use the internet
Monday 11 June,10am-12pm

Introduction to email
Friday 22 June, 5pm-7pm


Belle Vue Centre, 6 Belle Vue Road, GL14 2AB

How to use the internet
Tuesday 5 June, 10am-12pm

Introduction to email
Wednesday 13 June, 2pm-4pm

How to use your tablet 
Monday 18 June, 5pm-7pm  

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How are we doing

How are we doing image 1 96,516 Faster homes & 
How are we doing image 2 99 exchange areas
now live
How are we doing image 3 7,000 km of
fibre laid
How are we doing image 4 621 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'll let you know when you can order.