Making the announcement, Cllr John Jarvis, leader of Herefordshire Council, said:
“In partnership with Gloucestershire County Council we are pleased to be able to announce our preferred bidder for the contract to build a broadband network for the future across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire is BT."
"The new network will transform the lives of thousands of people and businesses in rural areas by being able to do more online. This partnership is part of a longer journey for everyone to have access to faster broadband to reflect the future requirements for digital services.”Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said:
“Our aim has always been to improve the broadband infrastructure in the rural areas of the county to enable Gloucestershire to grow. The announcement today will enable us to do this and really start to make a difference for business and residents in the county wherever they may be.”
The project is managed in partnership by Herefordshire Council, Gloucestershire County Council, economic development company GFirst, which drives Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, and government agency, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), to address the specific challenges of slow broadband in its rural areas. This will open up opportunities for businesses, creating jobs and strengthening dispersed rural communities. The two councils have made significant capital investment matched by £18.17m funding from central government.
The contract will be awarded once a legal 10 day standstill period has been completed and further details will be announced then. The roll out of the new network will be completed by the end of 2016.