Borders Broadband - Herefordshire and Gloucestershire

Latest Broadband update from Fastershire 4th February 2015 click here

Broadband update from Toby Murcott (Broadband Champion Golden Valley) March 20th 2013

Some information on the broadband roll out that was launched today. There is nothing in it about the Golden Valley region yet that I can see, but I have only been able to give it a quick look. The key point is that things are under way, and the website will have regularly updated information.  

Additional information is available and a video of each presentation is now on the Fastershire YouTube channel:

Gloucestershire video presentation

Herefordshire video presentation

You can also download a PDF of each presentation. 
Gloucestershire PDF presentation with video (11MB)

Herefordshire PDF presentation with video (11MB)

Gloucestershire PDF presentation without video (1MB)

Herefordshire PDF presentation without video (1MB)

Therte is a new website so please visit the site and register your interest in receiving project updates.

From April there will be a regular project update e-newsletter for broadband champions and those regsitered through the website. If you do not wish to receive these please click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

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Broadband update from Toby Murcott (Broadband Champion Golden Valley) December 19th 2012

I just wanted to bring you up to date with the latest information I have about the Gloucestershire and Herefordshire Broadband project. This is not an official update but it does include as much information as I have gathered from talking to people directly involved in the project.

This is quite a long email I'm afraid, but I wanted to make sure everyone has as much information as possible. Click Read More for more information

However, here is a quick summary.

1. Work is expected to start on the infrastructure in autumn 2013 and the first fibre enable connections available in early 2014.

2. A work schedule will be publicised in autumn 2013 showing which areas are due for fibre and when, so you can check when you are going to be able to get a better connection.

3. A website giving progress on the project and where you can find out when your area is due is being made ready for the end of Feb 2013.

3. 90% plus of rural properties are expected to have access to some form of fibre broadband, either fibre to the cabinet offering speeds up to 80Mbs or fibre to the premises offering speeds up to 330 Mbs. Those who do not have access in this way will get access via other technologies currently in development.

4. There will be some disruption to traffic as the work is rolled out across the counties.


What is happening and when?

I have a rough timetable for the initial survey work and for when the actual work is due to start.

There will be an initial 9 month detailed survey period where BT will gather information about the situation on the ground, to date they have based their work on computer models of the area rather than actual survey data. Once this has been conducted a work schedule will be produced and made available to everyone in the region.

The work will be divided up into areas within the two counties, and the work schedule will list the order in which these regions will be enabled. I have been told that there will be fourteen areas, but that of course might change. The work will be completed in one area before moving on to the next and once an area has been completed everyone in that area will have access to better quality broadband. It is anticipated that the first area might go live as early as January 2014, though as always take these predictions as aspirations rather than firm commitments.

For those of us living within the original Golden Valley pilot region it is anticipated that we will be amongst the first few areas for the work, but again this has to be confirmed as the project rolls on.

One important point to note is that the contract specifically excludes the possibility of BT doing the easiest areas first and saving the hardest ones to last.

How will I know when my area is due to be upgraded?

The full details will not be known until the initial survey period is complete and a work schedule produced. However, a website is due to be launched at the end of February 2013 that will provide the latest information on what is happening and when. I anticipate that when the work starts in Autumn 2013 that you will be able to go to this website and get fairly detailed information on what is happening and when.

Who will get what?

We won't know this until the work starts in a particular area but I my understanding is that it is anticipated that almost 50% of properties in Herefordshire are likely to get fibre to the premises. There is a figure that 90% will get access to high speed broadband in the contract, but an interesting point I picked up yesterday is that this 90% does not include urban areas, so in practice it could be higher than 90% of rural properties. Again we need to see how this pans out.

Those rural properties who will not have fibre will have access to high speed via other technologies, some wireless such as the next generation mobile networks or what is known as whitespace (this link will give you an idea of what this is about). There are other technologies up BT's sleeve and one of the advantages of this project is that they are keen to try them out. I don't have any details but I will be asking.

Will they be digging up the roads?

In short, yes. There will be a fair bit of work to be done to bury in the fibre cables along roads and repair culverts and current channels etc. Herefordshire council have committed to coordinating the work with other road projects in order to minimise the disruption, but there is likely to be various amounts of disruption as the work goes ahead.

I think that's all for the moment. Feel free to ask questions, I'll do my best to find the answer.

It has been frustratingly slow but it does seem like things are moving.


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.


For more information on the Borders Broadband project visit
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