A school in the rural village of Chedworth, Gloucestershire has become the best connected in Britain following the rollout of pure fibre-to-the-premises ultrafast broadband in the region by Fastershire. The new ultrafast service means that children at St. Andrew’s Church of England Primary School now have internet speeds of over 50Mb, with access to speeds of up to 1Gbps - up to 30 times faster than the UK average.
Earlier this year, the school invested in brand new, state-of-the-art IT and computer technology to support the new ultrafast service. The new improved technology will enable children to make the most of the fastest internet speeds in the country, ensuring they are able to access the most up to date learning resources.
The school is the 1,000th premises in the region to have access to ultrafast broadband service as part of Fastershire's Phase 2 rollout in partnership with Gigaclear. Over 6,500 homes and businesses across some of the most isolated areas of the Cotswolds are scheduled to benefit from the service by the end of 2017 as part of the project.
Angharad Fitch, Headmistress at St. Andrew’s Church of England Primary School, said: “Before we were connected to Gigaclear’s ultrafast broadband service, our internet access was so unpredictable, we never knew if it would work. It made lesson planning almost impossible because we couldn’t rely on having internet access.”
“Now, the world is our oyster! The children are able to do online research and watch films which bring subjects to life for them while our teachers have access to the wealth of useful resources available via the internet. It will enable us to offer more in the future too, such as setting online homework or contacting parents more effectively through our website. It’s really changing how the school works.”
The school now has upload and download speeds many times faster than previously but its monthly payments have reduced. In a further boost to the school’s finances, the cost of its ultrafast connection was funded through a donation from local charity Chedworth Community Land Trust.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “There are many learning opportunities now available through the internet which makes access to fast and reliable broadband essential both at school and home, and Fastershire’s delivery of an ultrafast connection to more than 6,500 of the most isolated homes and businesses in the Cotswolds will have a significant impact. I’m sure the pupils and staff of St Andrews will benefit hugely now they are a part of Fastershire.”
Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, County Councillor for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach, said: “'As a resident of the rural Cotswolds, I know how frustrating slow Internet speeds can be - particularly for small businesses and organisations. That's why I'm delighted that the faster broadband roll out is now in full flow on the back of the campaigns some of us have fought. Now schools like St Andrews are benefitting from no buffering and the kind of speeds we could only dream of a short while ago.”
Joe Frost, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “Digital skills are a hugely important part of education today and we’re delighted to be giving children in Chedworth a big advantage when learning new computer, IT and coding skills. St. Andrew’s is the very first school to benefit from the new ultrafast service through the Fastershire project and is a milestone for Gigaclear as it’s the 1,000th property we have passed in the region. We’re now looking forward to connecting more schools in rural Gloucestershire to our world-class and future-proof network.”
The overall rollout schedule for Fastershire’s Phase 2 broadband rollout in the Cotswolds is now available at www.fastershire.com/phase2
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.
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.
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.
With faster broadband you can download the latest blockbuster before the kettle has boiled or watch your favourite TV show online instantly.
With faster broadband you can study online with flexible hours and video tutorials that work immediately.
New telecare services mean that people who are unwell, have a disability or older people can stay safe and independent at home.
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?
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.
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 email@example.com .
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. These free sessions could lead to a longer course for those who are interested in developing their skills at going online.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Coldnose Road, Hereford HR2 6JS
Date: Thursday 8th March 2018
The Faster Women project is offering this FREE beginner’s workshop, Canva for beginners, in Hereford on Thursday 8th March.
Please note that this is a small-group workshop - different to the larger Faster Business events and networking lunches that take place every month.
This hands-on workshop will cover:
• Setting-up a Canva account
• Using Canva design templates
• Using Canva’s photo/image library
• Uploading and using your own photos/images/logos
• Adding text
• Re-sizing to suit different platforms
• Using your design – posting to social media, sharing with colleagues for editing/viewing, using in print
This workshop is taking place on International Women's Day - a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
This is one of a series of FREE workshops for Herefordshire/Gloucestershire women looking to improve their internet skills and be more digitally confident when starting-up or growing a business.
Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Coldnose Road, Hereford HR2 6JS
Below is a list of videos from our YouTube channel.
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
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.