The first funding awards for the new the Fastershire Community Broadband Grant have been made in recent months. This heralds a major step towards finishing the job of providing fibre broadband across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.Read Full Story
Vicarious Productions, a film and television production facility based in Edvin Loach, is one of 400 premises in hard-to-reach communities who have gone from being among the worst connected areas in the UK to having access to some of the fastest internet in the country.Read Full Story
Fastershire and Gigaclear are set to begin the rollout of a new ultrafast broadband network in Ledbury. The rollout is part subsidised by Fastershire, however, the majority of the new network in Ledbury is a result of a significant commercial investment by Gigaclear.Read Full Story
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?
Home: Pudleston, Herefordshire
Family: Husband and two teenage daughters
Escaping to the countryside
moved to this glorious part of Herefordshire three years ago with my
husband and two teenage daughters. Since then our menagerie has expanded
from two ponies and two cats to include six sheep & 10 chickens, oh and another two cats, thanks to my eldest who is studying to be a vet! Fortunately
for her, although perhaps not so much for me especially on those dark,
cold and wet evenings when I’m battling against a head-wind in a
head-torch trying to evict someone from an unsuitable overnight
location, we have a few acres of paddocking and a beautiful stable yard!
We all love it here and can’t ever imagine living anywhere else. Both daughters are keen to return to the area to live and work once they’ve completed their tertiary education. I work for myself, predominantly based from my home office, with occasional forays to the south east for client meetings. On those days, I can’t wait to scuttle home and my heart lifts when I drive back from the train station in Worcester after a long day in the big smoke!
only fly in the ointment since our move from Oxfordshire has been the
glacially slow broadband speeds we ‘enjoy’. My daughters were very
quickly disillusioned from harbouring any thought of streaming data,
watching anything on catch up, or connecting with their friends via
social media. My husband even had to surrender his beloved subscription
to BT Sport! Online shopping is a very frustrating activity, we’re never
sure if we’ve ordered what we want, ordered several of the same item
and finally, whether we’ve paid several times over! On the financial
theme, online banking is anxiety-inducing, with transfers freezing
mid-transaction and the worry of funds vanishing into the ether.
Since my eldest daughter left home for university, we seldom speak for longer than a few minutes at a time since she has lived in a series of properties without a landline phone, and any attempt to connect to FaceTime, via the internet, leaves her face frozen as the video connection fails repeatedly and her cheery chatter suspended mid-gossip! Repeated efforts to reconnect leave us frustrated and the moment invariably passes.
self-employed and working remotely for a number of different clients,
many with sophisticated computer servers, adds a whole new level of
complication to my life.
Connections are incredibly slow to establish and once set up, fragile to say the least! Even the seemingly simple task of logging on to an email account can take several minutes, and don’t get me started on the perils of uploading/downloading large data files from remote servers or cloud-based repositories!
On the one day a week that my husband also works from home, we have to compare our calendars and rank our activities in order of priority, so that we’re not hogging each other’s band-width! An incoming, urgent task threatens to destabilise our best-laid plans and is the cause of a certain amount of marital bickering! In the school/university holidays, said bickering impacts the entire family:
Husband: 'Is/are X &/or Y on the internet?'
Me: ‘I expect so’
Husband: ‘I have an incredibly important email to send’
Me: (rising from desk-chair, walking through office/kitchen and opening door) ‘X &/or Y, are you on the internet?’
X &/or Y: ‘Yes’
Me: ‘Can you get off the internet, Daddy’s trying to send an incredibly important email’
To date I have been incredibly fortunate, since I brought most of my clients with me from Oxfordshire. A history of a productive working relationship means that, thus far, they have been prepared to tolerate my poor communication system, even providing archaic ‘phone dial-in details for meetings! ‘What about Skype-type meetings?’ I hear you say, don’t make me laugh! The nature of my business means that clients come and go, and I have already experienced a number of introductory conversations with potential new clients along the lines of ‘oh you live in the middle of nowhere, thanks but no thanks!’
Clearly, our lives are further complicated by the lack of any reliable mobile phone coverage. The knock-on effect is that we are even more reliant upon our broadband service. I have watched with a considerable amount of domestic/business interest the incredibly important efforts that the Pudleston Village Hall Committee has expended to date on behalf of all of us who are fortunate enough to live in this wonderful rural community.
Watch this space...
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 email@example.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.
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: Ross-on-Wye Library, Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7AN
Date: Thursday 8th June 2017
Whether its computer viruses, Trojan horses, phishing attacks, spam emails or cybercrime this friendly and informal training session will help you keep you and your family safe online.
Our expert will share top tips and advice about;
No prior experience is necessary and laptops will be available for you to have a go.
Please book your FREE place through Ross-on-Wye Library.
Ross-on-Wye Library, Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7AN
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.