Herefordshire Council builds up its broadband infrastructure

Broadband infrastructure

Herefordshire Council has unveiled long term plans to build up the infrastructure in the county for next generation broadband.

In a new core strategy document entitled "Shaping our Place 2026" the council has outlined a 16 year plan to help the area get increased access to high speed broadband after a pilot scheme in the Kingstone parish area proved successful.

Run by swipecard payment company Allpay, it enabled around 100 residents to use wireless broadband services that turned local church steeples into antenna bases.

It has joined a number of other councils and cities who have decided to build up the networks on their own as BT's initial plans for the roll out of its next-generation broadband structures have left the areas out in the cold.

"One of the issues with Herefordshire is it is very rural and sparsely populated," a spokesperson from the council told IT PRO.

"This makes it very difficult to get large scale providers to invest. But as part of [Shaping our Place 2026] we are looking to develop 18,000 new homes which will change the infrastructure. We hope with these new plans and an increased culture of working from home, it will tempt some of the big boys to do more in the [county]."

Public consultation on the document is set to start this week and if the outcome is positive, the plans should turn from talk into action by March next year.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.