8,000 homes and businesses in the Herefordshire countryside will get access to ultrafast gigabit broadband after the local council signed a contract with Gigaclear.
Phase two of the ‘Fastershire’ council broadband rollout, announced on Tuesday 18 April, will see thousands of rural households and companies get 1Gbps fibre-to-the-premises internet.
30,000 Herefordshire premises are already linked up to Gigaclear’s network, but the local authority say this new phase will allow fast broadband to reach the the hardest-to-access homes.
Herefordshire Council leader, Cllr Tony Johnson, said the new outlay would “support the economic vitality” of the region and help to “sustain thriving communities”.
Work on the second phase is expected to start in summer 2017.
Gigaclear offer the fastest broadband speeds currently available on the UK market, with downloads of up to 1Gbps, or 1,000Mbps. This is also known as gigabit broadband.
By contrast, the second-fastest home broadband speed is way down at 300Mbps for Virgin Media’s VIVID Gamer 300 deal.
More and more local authorities are using smaller broadband firms like Gigaclear to bring fast broadband to isolated communities.
Thurrock Council in Essex were the latest to announce 1Gbps broadband would be available in all new social housing projects.
Virgin Media announced in early April they too had added an extra 42,000 homes to their beleagured ‘Project Lightning’ ultrafast broadband rollout.
Joe Frost from Gigaclear said: “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with Herefordshire Council, connecting more than 8,000 additional homes and businesses to our ultrafast pure fibre network.
“There is no doubt that this will continue to be socially and economically transformative for the most isolated, rural areas of Herefordshire.”
Cllr Johnson added: “This is a major step forward, not only will more communities and businesses have access to fast and reliable internet, but Fastershire is starting to lead the UK in rollout of full fibre.”
Fastershire has a further contract to cover Hereford city centre and is expected to be announced in June 2017.