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)

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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.