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Artistic Herefordshire pupils have designs on faster fibre broadband

On behalf of the Fastershire project

Artistic youngsters in a picturesque Herefordshire village have been brushing up on their art and design skills to celebrate the arrival of faster fibre broadband.

Llangrove is the latest village to benefit from the roll-out of Fastershire – the partnership between Herefordshire Council and BT, as part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

To coincide with the ‘switch on’ of the technology, Fastershire teamed up with Llangrove Church of England Academy, and came up with a creative way to spread the word about the benefits of faster fibre broadband.

Pupils were invited to take part in a special design competition with the theme ‘Welcome to Fastershire’.

The top 10 drawings chosen by members of Llangrove Parish Council have been turned into a special cover for the new fibre broadband cabinet, which now provides a colourful welcome on the main road into the fibre-enabled village – as well as giving nearly 300 homes and businesses access to the new fibre optic network.

Sarah Dean, deputy head teacher at Llangrove CE Academy, said: “Learning and applying computing skills and accessing the internet is an integral part of our children’s education, so it’s wonderful news that our community can now get faster broadband and that the pupils could be a part of Fastershire’s work in the village.”

Herefordshire County Councillor, Jenny Hyde, ward member for Llangarron, said: “Faster broadband offers huge benefits for businesses and residents, but the children’s involvement highlights how important it is that we prepare for a future when superfast speeds won’t be a luxury but a necessity.”

Herefordshire County Councillor, Graham Powell, said: “The drawings from the 10 winning children are fantastic and provide a perfect sign-post both to the village itself and to Fastershire’s great work across the parish and the county as a whole.”

Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Herefordshire and the West Midlands, said: “They say a picture paints a thousand words and this competition has been a great way to capture the imagination of the children whilst spreading the word about how the arrival of this important technology will be able to benefit local people of all ages.

“Whether it’s youngsters doing their homework or playing games online, grandparents staying in touch with grandchildren on the other side of the world, or people working or running a business from home – everything is easier and quicker with faster fibre broadband.”

Residents of Llangrove – part of Llangarron parish - will be able to lay claim to living in one of the fastest rural parishes in the UK when there is a potential 100-fold increase in broadband speeds across the area during the next few months.

Around 450 homes and businesses in the villages of Llangrove, Llancloudy, Llangarron and the surrounding area will be able to get high-speed fibre broadband. Before the Fastershire roll-out, the average download speed across the Llangarron parish was around 3Mbps, but this is expected to rise to an average potential download speed of around 156Mbps* when the roll-out is completed.

A mixture of technologies is being used to roll-out superfast broadband to the parish of Llangarron**. It involves engineers from Openreach – BT’s local network business – laying around 14 miles of fibre optic cable between now and the end of March.

Households served from the Llangrove cabinet are now able to order their faster broadband service from their chosen internet service provider.

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