Artistic Herefordshire pupils have designs on faster fibre broadband

Artistic youngsters in a tiny, picturesque Herefordshire village have been brushing up on their art and design skills to celebrate the arrival of faster fibre broadband.

Llangrove is the latest village to benefit from the roll-out of Fastershire – the partnership between Herefordshire Council and BT, as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

To coincide with the ‘switch on’ of the technology, Fastershire teamed up with Llangrove Church of England Academy, and came up with a creative way to spread the word about the benefits of faster fibre broadband.
Pupils were invited to take part in a special design competition with the theme ‘Welcome to Fastershire’.

The top 10 drawings chosen by members of Llangrove Parish Council have been turned into a special cover for the new fibre broadband cabinet, which now provides a colourful welcome on the main road into the fibre-enabled village – as well as giving nearly 300 homes and businesses access to the new fibre optic network.

Sarah Dean, deputy head teacher at Llangrove CE Academy, said: “Learning and applying computing skills and accessing the internet is an integral part of our children’s education, so it’s wonderful news that our community can now get faster broadband and that the pupils could be a part of Fastershire’s work in the village.”

Herefordshire County Councillor, Jenny Hyde, ward member for Llangarron, said: “Faster broadband offers huge benefits for businesses and residents, but the children’s involvement highlights how important it is that we prepare for a future when superfast speeds won’t be a luxury but a necessity.”

Herefordshire County Councillor, Graham Powell, said: “The drawings from the 10 winning children are fantastic and provide a perfect sign-post both to the village itself and to Fastershire’s great work across the parish and the county as a whole.”
Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Herefordshire and the West Midlands, said: “They say a picture paints a thousand words and this competition has been a great way to capture the imagination of the children whilst spreading the word about how the arrival of this important technology will be able to benefit local people of all ages.

“Whether it’s youngsters doing their homework or playing games online, grandparents staying in touch with grandchildren on the other side of the world, or people working or running a business from home – everything is easier and quicker with faster fibre broadband.”

Residents of Llangrove – part of Llangarron parish - will be able to lay claim to living in one of the fastest rural parishes in the UK when there is a potential 100-fold increase in broadband speeds across the area during the next few months.

Around 450 homes and businesses in the villages of Llangrove, Llancloudy, Llangarron and the surrounding area will be able to get high-speed fibre broadband. Before the Fastershire roll-out, the average download speed across the Llangarron parish was around 3Mbps, but this is expected to rise to an average potential download speed of around 156Mbps* when the roll-out is completed.

A mixture of technologies is being used to roll-out superfast broadband to the parish of Llangarron**. It involves engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network business – laying around 14 miles of fibre optic cable between now and the end of March.
Households served from the Llangrove cabinet are now able to order their faster broadband service from their chosen internet service provider.

Notes to Editors

*These are wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers. Speeds offered by service providers may vary.
**Both Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technologies will be used in Llangarron.

FTTP is an essential part of Fastershire’s roll-out to homes, farms and other businesses in the rural countryside of Herefordshire, a county with the fourth lowest overall population density in England.

Fastershire has already made FTTP available to more than 3,000 premises in the project area, with this figure due to rise to around 9,000 by the end of the roll-out in 2016.

The Fastershire project will provide satellite solutions to those premises in the Llangarron parish not eligible for FTTC nor FTTP.

Homes and businesses that fall outside the current Fastershire roll-out programme can apply to take part in the Herefordshire Passport to Fastershire scheme – www.passport2fastershire.com

There may be some exchanges or properties that will not be upgraded to fibre broadband, however all homes and businesses in the project area are expected to have access to a minimum of 2Mbps by the end of 2016.


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