SOUTHROP is the latest community to join a new broadband scheme with the first homes and businesses in the village now able to connect to the new superfast network.

The village, near Lechlade, can now start to take advantage of high-speed internet. Another six communities in Gloucestershire are also set to join them this spring as the £56.6 million Fastershire project gathers pace.

Fastershire, a project in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, Herefordshire County Council and BT, aims to bring high-speed broadband to areas across both counties.

Communities already benefitting from this scheme include Fairford, Lechlade, Kempsford and South Cerney.

Kemble, Poulton and Bourton-on-the-Water will be joining them in the next few months.

Well over 10,000 homes and businesses have already been connected to the fibre broadband network and are enjoying higher speeds.

Councillor Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucester council, said the progress was fantastic news for everyone in the county.

“The Fastershire project is really beginning to gather pace, and residents and businesses are starting to benefit from investment in this vital infrastructure,” he said.

“Many more homes and businesses will start to benefit over the next two years, and communities and businesses alike will be able to use the new network to grow and prosper.”

The Fastershire programme aims to take high-speed fibre broadband to around 90 per cent of homes and businesses in Gloucestershire by the end of 2015.

For information log on to the website