THE ultrafast broadband rollout in Herefordshire has reached over 4,000 rural properties in the county and has now been expanded to reach more.

Fastershire and Gigaclear initially planned to provide more than 19,000 homes and businesses in rural Herefordshire access to a new ultrafast network.

Now the network has been expanded to see the total number of properties in the county increased to 29,000.

The revised network design also includes an update of the anticipated delivery timings for each community, with the overall completion of this significant civil engineering programme now likely to be September 2022.

Peter Pentecost, regional general manager at Gigaclear, said: “We have made some great progress in parts of the county. The rollout has been slowed down by Covid-19, although work continued where safe to do so, but it’s true to say the build in Herefordshire has been far more complex than expected.

“The project is enormous and we’re constantly having to develop innovative solutions to navigate the obstacles that have prevented other providers from building networks in these areas. In Yarpole, for example, the roads are so narrow it would normally mean closing them completely. Instead we worked together with Herefordshire Highways to complete the works twice as fast as normal, causing less disruption for people living there.

“We are really pleased to be able to build to more properties in Herefordshire, and to bring delivery dates forward for some, but we do understand that for those where the delivery timings have moved back, this will be deeply frustrating, and we appreciate you bearing with us.

In total, the team has now dug over 500km of trenching with over 56km completed just during the lockdown period and are now actively building in over half the planned cabinet areas.

Currently over 90 percent of properties in the county can now access a superfast broadband and the project will increase superfast coverage to over 96 percent.

Councillor Ellie Chowns, cabinet member for environment, economy and skills, said: “The coronavirus crisis has highlighted just how vital digital connectivity is to us all.

“As someone whose own home is still not connected, I completely sympathise with the frustration felt by households who have not yet been reached,and I am doing everything I can to urge our partners to roll out installation as quickly as possible.

“I know that many people have been frustrated about not having clear information regarding planned installation dates. I am glad that we now have more clarity for everyone – though of course I’m deeply disappointed that Gigaclear won’t be able to reach some households as quickly as was previously hoped. At Herefordshire Council, we will be doing everything possible to ensure installation stays on track from now on. Superfast broadband is vital to our county’s future.”

For more information on the updated network designs, please visit