Fibre boost for thousands of Herefordshire residents and businesses as Fastershire reaches deeper into rural county
6th January, 2016
The Fastershire project has now reached more than 22,000 Herefordshire homes and businesses, many of them in some of the more remote parts of one of the UK’s most rural counties.
The high number of sparsely populated communities in Herefordshire has brought different challenges as well as requiring additional infrastructure to be installed. Engineers working on the Fastershire roll-out have so far had to put up more than 700 new telephone poles, remove more than 1,200 tonnes of earth, and undertake tree cutting along more than 13 kilometres of road and lanes. In the Michaelchurch Escley area alone, engineers are currently installing around 14 kilometres of overhead cable to enable local homes and businesses to access fibre broadband in the New Year.
The project has already deployed faster fibre broadband in rural areas, such as Bartestree Cross, Canon Pyon and Fownhope, and - when combined with BT’s commercial roll-out in Hereford, Ledbury and Leominster – means that more than 65 per cent of the county’s households and businesses can now get the high-speed technology.
Councillor Graham Powell, the lead cabinet member for broadband, said: “Our Fastershire project teams have achieved so much already but we know there is more to do and there are still whole communities that have not yet benefitted. A great deal has changed since we signed the contract with BT in 2012 and we look to the future to understand the best way of making sure Herefordshire continues to lead in the deployment of superfast broadband in rural areas.”
Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Herefordshire and the West Midlands, said: “We recognise the positive impact that better connectivity can have on rural communities, which is why our project teams are working hard to ensure as many people as possible have access to fibre broadband as quickly as possible. We have now reached more than 22,500 premises as a result of the Fastershire programme in Herefordshire. When added to our own roll-out of fibre broadband in the county, more than 65 percent of households and businesses in Herefordshire now have access to fibre broadband. The roll-out of the network is a huge engineering task, made particularly challenging in Herefordshire, which is an extraordinarily rural county where no single community outside of the city of Hereford has more than 12,000 residents.*”
A mix of technologies is currently being used to deliver faster fibre broadband in Herefordshire. While Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is the more common method of deployment, due to the high number of sparsely populated rural areas of the county, another type of technology - Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) - is also being used. In fact, it is expected that around one third of the Fastershire roll-out in Herefordshire will be FTTP, which is one of the highest levels in the country.
Areas where FTTP is being rolled out include parts of: Peterstow, St. Owens Cross, Sellack, Llangarron, Dinedor, Peterchurch, St Weonards, Symonds Yat, Upton Bishop, Perrystone Hill and Wellington.