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New £887,000 deal will bring faster broadband to thousands more homes and businesses in Hereford

Press Release   •   Feb 15, 2018 16:35 GMT

Ed Hunt (Openreach director for next generation access) right, with Councillor Harlow (Herefordshire Council), centre, celebrate new chapter for Fastershire with Ian Binks (BT Group)

Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council have awarded a contract to BT Group to deliver phase two of the Fastershire broadband rollout in parts of Hereford.

The £887,000 deal, which includes around £218,000 from Herefordshire Council and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and more than £668,000 from BT Group, will see around 2200 further homes and businesses be able to benefit from superfast fibre broadband by the end of 2019.

Councillor David Harlow, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy and communications, said, "We are striving to enable as many properties in Herefordshire to access faster broadband. By working with BT in Hereford, Fastershire will ensure that more homes and businesses will be able to benefit from superfast speeds."

The upgrades will be carried out by engineers from Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest telephone and broadband network.

Steve Haines, Openreach’s managing director of next generation access, said: “This major expansion of the Fastershire programme means more great news for people living and working in Hereford and we’re delighted to be playing such a key role.

“Just two years ago, Britons used less than half the data they do now on their home broadband and this pace shows no signs of slowing. Consumers are doing more and more online and at the same time, from streaming high definition movies and TV, gaming, online shopping to using mobile devises over wireless broadband.

“Every day the number of services delivered to us online, whether designed to entertain, educate or meet our daily needs, is growing. Content and applications will only get more sophisticated making high speed broadband vital for doing all your essential tasks online, so I hope that communities take full advantage of the technology as it arrives.”

Phase two of the Fastershire project is building on the phase 1 rollout, also delivered by BT Group, which has already given around 35000 premises in Herefordshire access to faster broadband speeds over 30Mbps.

Further contracts to cover other parts of Herefordshire under phase 2 have been awarded to Gigaclear, which will deliver ultrafast broadband to nearly 8000 additional homes and businesses by 2020.

Residents can use the address checker on www.fastershire.com to check faster broadband availability for their property.

ENDS

Contact

Mark Glover

Fastershire Communications Officer

Email: mark.glover@herefordshire.gov.uk

or

Emma Tennant on 0800 085 0660 Email: emma.tennant@bt.com

Notes for editor

About Fastershire

Fastershire is a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to overcome the market’s failure to provide high speed broadband across both counties. It uses funding from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK matched by the local authorities, ERDF, EAFRD and the Marches LEP

  • Phase 1 of the project enabled 83% of premises in Herefordshire, and 82% in Gloucestershire, with access to speeds of 30Mbps or over. This coverage has been achieved through commercial investment and a project contract delivered by BT Group.
  • Phase 2 of the project it is expected to increase coverage in Herefordshire to 95%, and 97% in Gloucestershire through a contract with Gigaclear and BT Group.
  • The projects vision is that “by the end of 2019/20 all residents and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will be able to order the broadband service they need, and a high percentage will be using faster broadband to do more online, boost business growth and achieve their potential.”
  • The project has developed a strategy http://www.fastershire.com/about-fastershire/strategy which outlines the approach adopted.

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
  • Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    About Openreach

    Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

    We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

    Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

    We work on behalf of more than 590 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

    We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometres of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

    Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.

    Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

    For the year ended 31 March 2017, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

    For more information, visitopenreach.co.uk