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Five more Herefordshire communities set for spring broadband

Gorsley, How Caple, Llangarron, Much Marcle and Symonds Yat will be the next communities to become a part of Fastershire.

Work has been progressing well in these areas and the programme, now at the start of its second year, is on target to make fibre available to the first homes and businesses in these five communities during the spring.

Fastershire aims to take faster broadband to the parts of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire not covered by any commercial rollout plans.

 So far, throughout the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire project area, engineers have walked around 300km to undertake vital surveys, laid more than165 kilometres of fibre cable, moved more than 250 tonnes of earth and poured around 115 tonnes of concrete to make faster broadband a reality. 

In November last year, Ross-on-Wye became the first Herefordshire community to ‘go live’ as part of Fastershire, with over 5000 homes and businesses in the town now having access to fibre, and work is continuing to connect more.

Cllr Graham Powell, broadband lead for Herefordshire Council, said: “A great deal of vitally important work has gone in to get us where we are today. We are now starting to see the results of all that labour with more and more local people and businesses in towns and villages throughout the county getting access to faster broadband.

“This fibre technology will not only help people access services in their community, but it will also mean that businesses can grow and Herefordshire will benefit from a thriving local economy.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation networks for BT, added: “This is a major engineering programme but work is progressing well and gathering momentum.

“There’s still a long way to go, but we are getting there and this is an exciting time for people in the Fastershire area.

“This project will have a hugely positive impact on rural as well as urban communities in Herefordshire, with fibre broadband providing a whole range of opportunities for households and businesses alike.”

Fastershire, a partnership between Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council and BT, with additional funding from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, aims to extend fibre broadband to around 90 per cent of premises in Herefordshire by the end of 2016.

The project is building on BT’s own commercial roll-out which has already made fibre broadband available to more than 33,000 homes and businesses in Hereford, Ledbury and Leominster, rising to nearly 35,000 once the commercial rollout is completed.

Openreach’s network is open to communications providers on an equal basis, so once fibre has gone live in an area, Herefordshire people can order the service they want from a range of fibre broadband providers to enjoy a far superior internet experience.

Fibre broadband will enable residents and businesses to enjoy download speeds of up to 80 megabits (Mbps) per second and uploads of up to 20 Mbps*.

It will also boost the competitiveness of local businesses, helping them to find new customers and operate more efficiently, while opening up a host of new learning and development opportunities for households.

More detailed information on the roll-out is available at the Fastershire website, .

Tags: Business and economy