Passport to Fastershire for Herefordshire

Herefordshire's Passport to Fastershire - where you can do more, faster, online.

Through the Fastershire project everyone in Herefordshire should have access to a standard broadband connection of at least 2Mbps, and around 90% of premises in the county will have Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband of over 24Mbps, using a new fibre network which is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

This means that there will still be some homes and businesses unable to benefit from NGA broadband through the Fastershire project. This is because the project has limited funding and to achieve the greatest value for money, and the widest coverage, the new network has been planned to give the best service to as many homes and businesses as possible across the county.

What is the Passport?

The Herefordshire Passport to Fastershire is the Council's way of ensuring that no home or business in the county that can prove the need for NGA (in terms of the savings to the public sector or benefits to the local economy) is left without it after 2016.

It will use a mixture of Council and European Funding to bring faster broadband services to those who need NGA but who do not get it through the Fastershire project.

Herefordshire Council is committed to ensuring that each business or resident who can prove the need for an NGA connection of over 24Mbps is able to get one. Therefore for those who receive a basic broadband service, but not an NGA service, through the new network and need to upgrade, there are a number of funding options available.

1. Top-up icon The Digital Birmingham scheme provides up to 3k for NGA provision from West Midlands applications (including Herefordshire).
Apply at voucherapply.com >

2. Top-up icon A pot available to homes and businesses in rural areas which do not benefit from NGA through the new network.

3. Match icon Awaiting next EU programme.

Because of the limited amount of additional funding we have this will be granted on a needs basis only. We do not have enough additional funding to achieve 100% NGA coverage for the county so it is vital that we spend this additional funding in the most efficient way. In order to do this, expressions of interest will be assessed through an open and fair application process.

Who is eligible?

Your eligibility for this additional funding will be assessed upon your expression of interest. The following criteria will be assessed:

  • The application must be for a business or residential premise in Herefordshire
  • The premise or group of premises you are seeking support for must be in the eligible area of Herefordshire
  • The premise or group of premises will not receive NGA through the main project funding
  • You can demonstrate why you need NGA as opposed to the basic provision you will receive as part of the main project

What to do next? How to apply?

How do I apply?

Because the rollout of the new fibre network is phased, additional funding for each area will only become available once work has started in an area. So applications will be processed in stages:

Step 1 Submit your expression of interest by filling out the form below

Step 2 If you are a business the Fastershire team will be in touch to arrange a session with an Objective Advisor through the CREATE project to help build your business case.

Step 3 Once funding becomes available in your area and you are eligible you will be sent an application form to complete

Step 4 Submit your completed application form by the specified date

Step 5 The Fastershire project team will inform you of the outcome of your application

Next step? Fill in the form below

Expression of interest form

1. Which fund are you interested in applying for?

(tick all that apply)

2. Is the property you are expressing an interest in the fund for a residence or a business?

3. Contact Information

4. Eligibility

If you are expressing an interest in the scheme as a resident, please list all of the services which you are excluded from receiving due to the slow broadband capability or which you currently receive whichi will in time be delivered electronically over a high speed internet connection.

If you are expressing an interest in the scheme as a business, please explain your main business activities, how access to a high speed internet connection will improve your business and/or provide job opportunities.

Current number of employees (FTE)   Current annual turnover

5. If the costs of bringing you a high speed connection exceed the level of public sector investment that can be justified, would you consider making a private contribution to top up any council support?

(Please note the Match funding options will require a 50% match contribution from the applicant)

If you have any queries please email passport@fastershire.com

Thanks for your expression of interest, we will be in touch once funding becomes available for your area.

Guidance Notes

NGA Broadband provides a high speed internet connection. In terms of the fund this is defined as broadband with a download capacity of 30Mbps and an upload capacity of 5Mbps upwards.

By completing this expression of interest, you will not be assured of an NGA connection. It will allow the council to reasonably allocate resources and to keep in touch with you. When your area gets deployed and if your premises is not planned to get NGA through the main project, you will be invited to submit a full application.

1. Property Type

Please indicate whether the property for which you are expressing an interest are residential or business premises. Only complete the ‘both’ response if more than 80% of the business’s operations are conducted on the site.

2. Contact Information

Please complete all sections.

If you are a business, the address you provide should reflect where the business primarily operates from and not the registered address if these are different.

3. Eligibility

Residents

The full application will go in to some detail to understand the benefits to your household or community of having access to NGA broadband. This level of detail is not needed in this initial registration, however we do need to understand how providing a connection to your property will help you receive services from public bodies. When listing services please feel free to include as many as necessary including health, education and employment services for example.

Businesses

You should use this section to briefly provide some context behind why your business needs to have access to NGA broadband and the benefits this would bring. It will be important in the full application to explain fully what web enabled processes you will implement using the connection and how these will lead to improved financial performance and/or job opportunities. This level of detail is not needed in this initial registration but it is worth outlining how you might respond to this question.

4. Cost

You are not required to contribute to the costs of NGA provision, (unless you are applying for the Match funding which will require a 50% match contribution from the applicant). However, it may be in the event that the case for public subsidy is marginal, reducing the level of public subsidy required will increase the return on investment, will demonstrate your commitment to making the changes proposed and increase your chances of a successful application.