THE first houses in a new roll-out of superfast broadband for Herefordshire are due to be linked up this month.

Indepedent internet service provider Airband has been contracted by Herefordshire Council to deliver new fibre broadband services across the county.

“The first properties that we’ve connected using fibre broadband are in the Tedstone Wafre /Saltmarsh area and they go live in May 2019," said an Airband spokesman.

Altogether Airband have been targeted to deliver superfast broadband to 35,000 rural homes and businesses across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Somerset.

The firm have taken on more engineers and extended their fleet of vans as demand grows.

“We are steaming ahead on our new superfast fibre broadband deployment to rural communities in Herefordshire as part of the Fastershire project.”

Fastershire is a partnership between Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council.

Airband was awarded a contract to provide superfast to 10 dispersed clusters of premises with funding from the Rural Broadband Infrastructure Scheme.

“We’re providing a fibre broadband network across Herefordshire and Shropshire and some surrounding areas - in 10 geographical clusters,” said Peter Mathers, Airband Operations Director.

" The whole roll-out in the Marches is extensive and all clusters are scheduled to be finished by the end of 2020.”

“In many communities, we are using the existing public infrastructure – the poles and ducts etc that are already in place – which makes the whole process a lot quicker and importantly it minimises disruption to the community.

"So, look out for our new fleet and our engineers as we bring superfast broadband to your area and contact us so we can plan to then install at your home or premise.”

Airband specialises in high speed broadband for rural and hard-to-reach areas.

The firm expect significant growth as rural communities realise they can enjoy the same services as people in the big towns and cities, said Mr Mathers.