Fastershire has been working to transform broadband access across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire since 2012 and reaching deep into rural areas.
Almost 94% of properties in Herefordshire can access a superfast connection, with over 41% able to access a gigabit capable connection. In Gloucestershire, almost 97% of properties can access a superfast connection, with over 59% able to access a gigabit capable connection.
Here’s how it’s been done…
Stage 1: Commerically funded delivery
Commercially funded delivery has focused mainly on the more built up areas in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, and areas of Hereford, Gloucester, Cheltenham and some of our larger market towns.
Most of the early commercial rollout was delivered by Openreach using Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) to provide superfast capable connections, but Virgin Media also built their Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) network in parts of Gloucestershire.
Recently commercial investment in these areas has shifted towards building new gigabit capable Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) / full fibre networks, and is being delivered by networks operators like Openreach, City Fibre, Netomnia, Zzoomm, Full Fibre Limited, Virgin Media, Gigaclear and Airband.
Stage 2: Fastershire’s rollout with Openreach
Fastershire’s first rollout contract was delivered by Openreach and provided 120,000 rural properties with superfast connection.
The contract split the two counties into fourteen milestone areas (seven in each county) to ensure that coverage was spread more evenly across the two counties and Fastershire could ensure deeply rural properties were also reached.
The rollout mainly used Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) but also some Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) providing those properties with a gigabit capable connection. (See the broadband explained page for more information about FTTC and FTTP)
By the end of this rollout, stage 1 and stage 2 had combined increase superfast coverage to over 90% of properties across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
Stage 3: Fastershire’s rollout with Gigaclear and Openreach
Gigaclear’s rollout for Fastershire began in 2015 in the Cotswolds, where Gigaclear provided an additional 6,500 homes and businesses with access to a superfast connection.
In 2017 Gigaclear was awarded the contract to reach some of the remaining properties across rural Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.
Although Fastershire’s aim is to provide properties with access to superfast connection, because Gigaclear’s network only uses Fibre to the Property (FTTP) connections, all those properties reached will benefit from a gigabit capable connection.
Alongside Fastershire’s funded rollout, Gigaclear are also undertaking some additional commercially funded deployment in these areas as well.
Fastershire’s rollout with Openreach
Fastershire’s second funded rollout with Openreach helped the remaining 2,200 in Hereford and around 4,200 properties in Cheltenham and Gloucester also benefit from a superfast fibre broadband connection.
Stage 4: Fastershire’s rollout with Airband
The project’s stage 4 rollout with Airband is deploying a brand new Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) network and providing over 3,000 hard-to-reach areas.
The rollout is funded by Fastershire and the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme and managed by theDepartment for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs using the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE).
Stage 5: Fastershire Broadband Grants
The Fastershire broadband grant schemes target the final 3-4% of homes and businesses that still require access to superfast broadband.
Marches and Gloucestershire Business Broadband Grant
The grant was created in partnership with Connecting Shropshire and Superfast Telford and part funded bythe European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The grant provided eligible business with up to £25,000 of the capital installation cost and through our registration portal we aim to help to match your business with potential suppliers who can install your high speed connectivity.
Fastershire Broadband Grants
The scheme is entirely funded by Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council and designed to help find a solution specific for each project.