The company behind plans to improve the quality of broadband to almost every home in the county (Fastershire) has unveiled details of its latest £12.8m programme of works. This should, in theory, result in most homes in Huccelecote receiving broadband speeds of 30Mbps or more by the end of 2018.

At a presentation to parish councils on Monday evening Fastershire explained that a contract had been awarded to Gigaclear (the company that has recently provided high speed fibre connections to 6,500 homes in the Cotswolds), and this contract should see a further 33,000 homes linked up to the optical fibre network. This would take coverage to 97 per cent of all homes in the county. The Gigaclear system seems to have been hugely successful in its earlier phases and it routinely delivers fantastic speeds of 1,000 Mbps.

The Gigaclear contract should be good news for most Hucclecote residents who currently get a poor broadband connection. However, there will still be some areas that won’t (at present) get a fibre connection (for example the rural properties in Stump Lane). And those residents who live in areas of Coopers Edge that currently get a poor service will need to get organised to ensure their homes are included in the work.

This is what everyone who currently gets a slow speed (below 30MBps) needs to do :-

• Go to the Fastershire website (www.fastershire.com) and on the landing page click on ‘Home’ if you are a resident, or ‘Business’ if you are from a local company. Then key in your postcode.
• If Fastershire is planning to provide fibre to your front door the website should tell you; if your property isn’t included in the current programme you will probably get a message that says something like “we will explore a number of solutions in order to provide you with access to faster broadband. This may take the form of a contract extension with an existing supplier or a bespoke grant and we hope to have more information available later in the summer”.
• If this is the case it is VITAL that you then fill in the Contact form – you can find it here – http://www.fastershire.com/contact-us
• In the box labelled ‘Enquiry’ make it clear that you don’t currently get a good connection (remember anything below 30 MBps is eligible). You might stress how vital a good connection is to you – for example if you work from home, or to enable you to keep in contact with or monitor a vulnerable relative. The stronger you make the case, the better the chances of getting Fastershire to include your home in the roll out programme later this year or early in 2018.

For those remote properties that fall into the ‘three per cent’ that don’t fit in the planned programme there is some hope too. For example, if a residential property can ‘team up’ with a nearby business they may be able to piggy back on a new connection to the business (businesses will generally be prioritised).