£5.14m for Gloucestershire County Council to invest in faster broadband
Gloucestershire County Council is looking to connect even more businesses and homes to faster broadband under phase two of the Fastershire project.
As a result of phase one of the project, delivered by BT, over 78,000 homes and businesses can now access speeds over 30Mbps. Phase two of the project looks to extend this further to over 35,000 additional premises across the county.
Phase 2 of the project has already started in the Cotswolds and Forest of Dean with the county council investing £3.5m in this second phase of rollout in these areas. In June 2015 a contract was awarded to Gigaclear to deliver ultrafast broadband through their full fibre network to over 6,500 homes and businesses in the Cotswolds. Delivery is well underway with nearly 4500 premises now able to access ultrafast speeds. In December 2016, Gigaclear were also awarded a contract in the Forest of Dean to bring ultrafast broadband to over 2600 additional homes and businesses in the district.
Cabinet is now being asked to approve the recommendation to award further contracts to cover the rest of the county worth £12.7m, made up of £2.7m from Gloucestershire County Council, £2.9m from Herefordshire Council and the remainder from BDUK and other public grants. Phase 1 of the project saw £7.5m invested into broadband by the county council.
Gloucestershire County Council has worked in partnership with Herefordshire Council for five years under the Fastershire project to improve broadband availability across the two counties in order to enable businesses, communities and homes to become more productive, competitive and sustainable.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: "It is so important that we are making sure that access to a fast and reliable internet connection is available for our businesses and residents as more and more services go online.
"By providing faster broadband, we're making a real difference to peoples' lives, enabling the fibre network to reach some of the most rural areas where larger suppliers were not prepared to go. Our priority remains our economy, education and supporting our communities and the Fastershire project is helping us do this."