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
COMPANIES based on Hereford’s Rotherwas Industrial Estate will be able to access ultrafast broadband speeds after a contract was signed to install a high-speed fibre network on Skylon Park.
Herefordshire Council1‘s agreement with ITS Technology Group will see businesses benefit from the best data upload and download speeds available as the Enterprise Zone becomes the region’s first high technology-enabled business park. The agreement between the council and the broadband provider has been formally confirmed which leads to the offer of a range of wholesale connectivity services, from superfast speeds of 30Mbps right up to ultrafast 1Gbps. The services will be delivered using Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) along duct infrastructure already developed around Skylon Park.
Bill Jackson, Chairman of the Enterprise Zone, said: “We, with council backing, have already invested in ducting, around 4.5 km so far, in preparation for fibre based broadband services to be installed.
“ITS will add to that network, and install fibre through it to provide services to customers.
“Businesses need superfast and ultrafast broadband if they are to compete with other companies across the globe.
“It helps level a playing field for our investors, many of whom are dealing in complex and sensitive information, which they need to share across multiple sites around the UK and the world in different time zones. They simply cannot wait for hours to download or upload data.”
As well as high-speed broadband services being offered, business will also be able to take advantage of a range of cloud based digital services.
Councillor Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “I’m delighted we’re bringing best in class fibre connectivity to the Zone. This will really help the Zone’s competitiveness in attracting business investment.”
Roy Shelton, CEO at ITS said, “ITS have now signed a number of similar agreements to extend and commercialise councils’ assets in order to provide competitively priced and swiftly deployed high-speed broadband services.
“This agreement to design, build and operate Skylon Park’s high-speed fibre network will enable businesses to have further competitive advantage and support Herefordshire Council’s vision of a truly technology enabled business park.
The first business users are now live with a growing demand to access our services.”
“We, with council backing, have already invested in ducting, around 4.5 km so far, in preparation for fibre based broadband services to be installed. ITS will add to that network, and install fibre through it to provide services to customers. Businesses need superfast and ultrafast broadband if they are to compete with other companies across the globe.
It helps level a playing field for our investors, many of whom are dealing in complex and sensitive information, which they need to share across multiple sites around the UK and the world in different time zones. They simply cannot wait for hours to download or upload data. Bill Jackson, Chairman of the Enterprise Zone
Speeds of 30 Mbps through to Gigabit via a FTTP deployment are set to be available, and the park already seems to have good FTTC coverage via several cabinets installed in the business park as part of the BDUK projects and we are seeing the odd speed test from an Airband customer with upload speeds above what VDSL2 can offer.
Of course like other business premises around the UK ethernet and leased line services are available. Though costs of around ?900/m for 100 Mbps guaranteed and rising to over ?6000/m if you need a guaranteed symmetric 1000 Mbps, lower prices are available e.g.
300 Mbps with burst to 1000 Mbps is ?2,400/m will only appeal to businesses where Internet access is critical to day to day operations. We assume then that the driver is that ITS Technology Group are aiming to significantly undercut existing Ethernet type pricing.
For those consumers with Gigabit connections the business price for Gigabit may be a shock, but Ethernet/leased line services can very different guarantees as to the performance at peak times, hence the higher pricing.