The news that 8,000 premises in Herefordshire are set to see Gigaclear pass them giving businesses and residents the option of Gigabit broadband will be welcomed by those who are yet to see any improvements via the Fastershire scheme. Gigaclear has already delivered some 3,000 premises of full fibre via the Fastershire project mainly in Gloucestershire (Fastershire is a joint project between Gloucestershire and Herefordshire). Herefordshire with 9.63% coverage of Openreach GEA-FTTP will likely see the full fibre coverage double to around 20% with this additional roll-out.
“This is a major step forward, not only will more communities and businesses have access to fast and reliable internet, but Fastershire is starting to lead the UK in rollout of full fibre.
We’re committed to ensuring that Herefordshire has a broadband network that will benefit the county for many years to come.”
Leader for Herefordshire Council, Cllr Tony Johnson
Until Gigaclear release the detail of the footprint it is impossible to know the full impact on Herefordshire, but it is possible this could almost eliminate the 10% of the county that cannot get speeds above 10 Mbps currently.
|County of Herefordshire||93.1%||80.8%||9.90%||9.63%||9.90%||2.9%||10.6%|
|Hereford and South Herefordshire||93.7%||86.8%||8.0%||7.49%||8.01%||1.8%||6.3%|
|County of Gloucestershire||92.4%||88.7%||42.3%||1.71%||5.22%||0.6%||4.5%|
|Forest of Dean||87.5%||77.1%||8.7%||8.67%||8.67%||1.8%||11.5%|
SLOW broadband could soon be a thing of the past, with more than 8,000 county homes and businesses soon to have access to some of the fastest speeds in the country. It comes after Herefordshire Council1 signed a contract with Gigaclear to deliver phase two of the Fastershire project – which will see a new full fibre network across Herefordshire. Gigaclear specialises in connecting rural communities by installing pure fibre straight into the home, which should offer a future-proof solution and broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps.
It is hoped this will enable some of the hardest to reach homes and businesses across the county to have access to ultrafast broadband. The phase two rollout will build on what has already been achieved in phase one of the project, with more than 30,000 premises in the county now able to access a superfast broadband service. As part of the national government and Herefordshire Council funding, this new deployment aims to support the economic vitality and sustain thriving communities across the county and is in addition to BT’s delivery of fibre broadband in more urban areas.
Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor Tony Johnson, said: “This is a major step forward, not only will more communities and businesses have access to fast and reliable internet, but Fastershire is starting to lead the UK in the rollout of full fibre. We’re committed to ensuring that Herefordshire has a broadband network that will benefit the county for many years to come.”
Joe Frost, from Gigaclear, added that the firm was ‘delighted’ to be working with Herefordshire Council, connecting more than 8,000 additional homes and businesses to our ultrafast pure fibre network.
“Work is due to start this summer and there is no doubt that this will continue to be socially and economically transformative for the most isolated, rural areas of Herefordshire,” he said. Fastershire has a further contract to award to cover Hereford city and is expected to be announced in June.
More information about phase 2 can be found on the Fastershire website at fastershire.com
A new voucher scheme1 has started for businesses in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire and the Borough of Telford & Wrekin, ISPreview reported, saying the plan offers local SMEs up to GBP 25,000 to help fund the installation of a 30Mbps+ broadband connection.
The plan will become available from April, supported by a public investment of GBP 4.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).