A school in the rural village of Chedworth, Gloucestershire has become the 1,000th premises in the Fastershire region, covering parts of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, to have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast broadband service, marking a significant milestone for phase two of the BDUK Fastershire rollout.
St. Andrew’s Church of England Primary School is now the best connected school in Britain, with Internet speeds of over 50Mb and access to speeds of up to 1Gbps – up to 30 times faster than the UK average. It is also the first school in Gloucestershire to go live with the ultrafast service that is scheduled to benefit over 6,500 homes and businesses across some of the most isolated areas of the Cotswolds by the end of 2017.
Fastershire is the partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to bring faster broadband to the two counties, with funding from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK matched by the local authorities.
Joe Frost, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “St. Andrew’s is the very first school to benefit from the new ultrafast service through the Fastershire project and we are proud to have reached this milestone working alongside Gloucestershire County Council. Digital skills are a hugely important part of education today, so we’re looking forward to connecting more schools in rural Gloucestershire to our world-class and future-proof network.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “There are many learning opportunities now available through the internet which makes access to fast and reliable broadband essential both at school and home, and Fastershire’s delivery of an ultrafast connection to more than 6,500 of the most isolated homes and businesses in the Cotswolds will have a significant impact. I’m sure the pupils and staff of St Andrews will benefit hugely now they are a part of Fastershire.”
Earlier this year, the school invested in brand new, state-of-the-art IT and computer technology, funded by Chedworth Community Land Trust, to support the new ultrafast service. The new improved technology will enable children to make the most of the fastest Internet speeds in the country, ensuring they are able to access the most up to date learning resources.
St. Andrew’s school now has upload speeds 80 times faster than before and 25 times faster download speeds, but its monthly bills have gone down. In a further boost to the school’s finances, the cost of its connection to Gigaclear’s network was funded through a donation from local charity Chedworth Community Land Trust.
Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, County Councillor for Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach, said: “’As a resident of the rural Cotswolds, I know how frustrating slow Internet speeds can be – particularly for small businesses and organisations. That’s why I’m delighted that the faster broadband roll out is now in full flow on the back of the campaigns some of us have fought. Now schools like St Andrews are benefitting from no buffering and the kind of speeds we could only dream of a short while ago.”
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