Herefordshire and Gloucestershire sign UK’s first joint county council deal to bring faster broadband to rural areas

£56.6million deal with BT to enable around 90 per cent* of premises to have access to

fibre broadband

Aim to deliver minimum of 2Mbps to all premises

For more information click here

Faster broadband for rural homes and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

Herefordshire Council, in a unique partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, has today (Thursday 29th November) announced that British Telecommunications PLC (BT) has been chosen as the preferred bidder to build a high speed fibre broadband network for the future across the two counties.

Making the announcement, Cllr John Jarvis, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “In partnership with Gloucestershire County Council we are pleased to be able to announce our preferred bidder for the contract to build a broadband network for the future across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire is BT.

“The new network will transform the lives of thousands of people and businesses in rural areas by being able to do more online. This partnership is part of a longer journey for everyone to have access to fast broadband to reflect the future requirements for digital services.”

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Our aim has always been to improve the broadband infrastructure in the rural areas of the county to enable Gloucestershire to grow. The announcement today will enable us to do this and really start to make a difference for business and residents in the county wherever they may be.”

The project is managed in partnership by Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council, economic development company GFirst, which drives Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, and government agency, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), to address the specific challenges of slow broadband in its rural areas. This will open up opportunities for businesses, creating jobs and strengthening dispersed rural communities. The two councils have made significant capital investment matched by £18.17m funding from central government.

The contract will be awarded once a legal 10 day standstill period has been completed and further details will be announced then. The roll out of the new network will be completed by the end of 2016.

ENDS

For more information on the Borders Broadband project visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/broadband.
Natalia Silver, Project Director
Plough Lane, PO Box 4,
Hereford HR4 0XH
Tel: 01432 260732
Fax: 01432 383031

Potential opportunities for SUPERFAST BROADBAND in Garway, Broad Oak and Garway Hill

County takes one step closer to superfast broadband

Councils in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire have agreed to enter into final negotiations with a single supplier to deliver superfast broadband to rural areas.

The Borders Broadband project covers Herefordshire and Gloucestershire and is one of four national pilot projects to address the challenge of poor broadband coverage in rural areas. 

Delivery of broadband to the rural areas will open up opportunities for business, creating jobs and providing a lifeline to many residents.

Councillor Graham Powell, Cabinet Member for Education & Infrastructure, Herefordshire Council, said: “The ‘need for speed’ is increasing, and as services such as video or TV on demand and video conferencing become more popular then access to superfast broadband becomes vital.

“This project, along with commercial improvements to the network, should see 88% of homes and business within our county having access to speeds of 30Mbps and above. We are building a network for the future and investing in technology that will future proof our county.

“Without this investment we would be in danger of falling into the digital divide, which would have a negative impact on our ability to generate economic growth.”

The councils will now continue negotiations with the single bidder in the final stage of the procurement process. The proposed contract covers the design, build and operation of a wholesale broadband network across both counties

The network will be used by any number of independent internet service providers (ISPs) who would then offer a range of retail broadband packages to the consumer.

The total public sector investment covering both counties is £35.4m, funded by the local authorities, Government funding and BDUK.

A single contract for Herefordshire and Gloucestershire is proposed with the partnership between the two counties remaining in place until the end of project.

Issued by Dawn Thompson, Broadband Engagement Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 01432 260324.

For more information on the Borders Broadband click here