Ross-on-Wye becomes first Herefordshire community to benefit from Fastershire fibre broadband project

Students given insight into new technology by optical fibre engineers; 
Community leaders welcome broadband milestone; 
Much Marcle, Symonds Yat, Upton Bishop and St Weonards next to benefit 

EVENT: Technology students from John Kyrle High School join engineers and representatives from Herefordshire Council and BT to celebrate the arrival of faster fibre broadband in Ross-on-Wye. It’s the first community to benefit from the multi-million pound Fastershire broadband partnership between Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council and BT. 

Engineers from BT’s network business, Openreach, will give the students and other guests an insight into how the fibre optic technology works and what’s involved to get homes and businesses connected to the new fibre broadband network. 

All will be available for interviews and photographs. 

DATE: Thursday, November 21. TIME: 11.30am – 12.30pm approximately. 

VENUE: Ross-on-Wye telephone exchange, Old Gloucester Road, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 5PB. 

Following a demonstration by engineers in the exchange building, students and other guests will walk to a nearby street-side cabinet and footway box to see the next stage in the engineering process to connect residents and businesses to the new fibre network. 

Ross-on-Wye has become the first community in Herefordshire to benefit from the multi- 
million pound Fastershire fibre broadband project. 

Students from John Kyrle High School, who are studying for a GCSE in information 
and communications technology, are joining representatives from Herefordshire Council and 
BT to mark the important milestone. 

Engineers from Openreach, BT’s network business, who are building and installing 
the new fibre network, will be giving the teenagers an insight into how the new technology 
works and the process involved to get people connected to the new network. 
The visit has been specifically tailored to support their ICT studies. 

After visiting Ross-on-Wye telephone exchange, everyone will track the route of the 
new fibre optic network to a nearby street-side cabinet to understand the next part of the 
installation process. 

More than 3,000 premises in Ross can now connect to the new network. 
This figure will rise to just under 7,000 premises when engineers complete the upgrade work 
in the coming months. 

Around 80 homes and businesses are already using the faster fibre broadband 
network, which will deliver download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second and upload 
speeds of 20Mbps. People can check the Fastershire website to see whether it’s available 
for them by logging onto www.fastershire.com 

Ross households and businesses are able to order fibre broadband from a wide 
range of internet service providers as the network is open to all providers on an open, 
wholesale basis, thereby ensuring competitive prices. 

Councillor Graham Powell, cabinet lead for broadband for Herefordshire Council, 
said: “Bringing faster broadband to Herefordshire is vital to the county’s economic growth 
and future. This is fantastic news for Ross-on-Wye and a key milestone for the project, with 
3,000 homes and businesses able to take advantage of the new network right now and more 
to follow. 

“The rollout to the rest of the county is continuing to gather pace and will see many 
more people benefitting from faster broadband by the end of 2016.” 

Nick Wood, BT’s senior manager for Herefordshire, said: “The internet is playing an 
increasingly important part in all our lives – whether it’s small businesses keeping in touch 
with their customers and suppliers, children doing their homework or playing interactive 
games online, grandparents staying in touch with their grandchildren, or people working 
from home. Each of these things is made easier, quicker and better by faster fibre 

Lisa Lown, ICT teacher at John Kyrle High School, said: “This is a fantastic 
opportunity for our GCSE students here at John Kyrle High School to see the latest 
broadband technology in action. 

“It will extend their learning and will be particularly useful when it comes to applying 
that knowledge in their exam next June.” 

The £56.6 million Fastershire project between Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire 
County Council and BT aims to make faster, fibre broadband available to around 90 per cent 
of homes and businesses by the end of 2016. 

The next Herefordshire communities to benefit will be Much Marcle, Symonds Yat, 
Upton Bishop and St Weonards. 

The Fastershire partnership builds on BT’s commercial rollout which has so far 
brought faster fibre broadband to more than 35,000 homes and businesses across Hereford, 
Leominster and Ledbury as part of the company’s £2.5 billion pound national investment 

Notes to editors 

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