Engineers overcome challenges to bring faster fibre broadband to Herefordshire community

Homes and businesses in Symonds Yat are the latest in Herefordshire to have access to fibre broadband thanks to the Fastershire roll-out programme, partners Herefordshire Council and BT announced today.

Engineers had to overcome a series of unexpected challenges to bring faster fibre broadband to Symonds Yat after major blockages were found while they were trying to lay fibre optic cable under the A40. However, working with Herefordshire Council’s

Highways Department and the Highways Agency, engineers were able to complete the necessary work, without having to close or dig up the A40.

Matt Lloyd, BT Programme Manager for Fastershire, said: “Deploying fibre in Herefordshire is a huge and often complex engineering operation. The unusual challenges we faced when trying to complete the upgrade of Symonds Yat is a good example of everyone’s commitment and determination to get the job done, while keeping disruption to local residents and motorists to an absolute minimum.

“Here we used new specialist techniques to reduce the amount of digging engineers had to do underneath the A40 before laying the fibre optic cable there.”

Ross-on-Wye and the surrounding rural areas were the first in Herefordshire to get upgraded through the Fastershire project.

Other communities where faster fibre broadband is now live as a result of Fastershire include: Bartestree Cross, Burghill, Carey, Gorsley, Lea, Much Marcle and Upton Bishop, as well as parts of Hereford not already covered by any commercial upgrade.

Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet member at Herefordshire Council with responsibility for broadband said “Work in the county will continue as we strive to deliver fibre broadband across rural Herefordshire to all who need it. We remain committed to the delivery of a future proofed network for broadband that will meet the needs of generations to come. We are seeing more and more areas in Herefordshire being connected to the new network, and now have over 44,000 premises across the county with access to fibre broadband.”

Residents and businesses can follow the progress of the roll-out via the Fastershire website: www.fastershire.com and Fastershire’s Facebook page: facebook.com/fastershire.

Once an area has gone live, people will have access to download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and downloads of up to 20Mbps*.

It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the network is ‘open’, local people wanting to upgrade have a choice of who they take their broadband from, with more than 140 fibre service providers currently operating in the UK.

The £56.6 million Fastershire project between Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council, BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme aims to make faster, fibre broadband available to around 90 per cent of Herefordshire homes and businesses by the end of 2016.


Notes to Editors

* These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

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