STONE is the first village in Gloucestershire with a new broadband service to jumpstart it into the digital age.

Rural Broadband, set up by eight of the county’s business experts, is introducing ultra-high-speed broadband to the area’s most rural villages, many of which are cut off entirely from internet access.

The company teamed up with Oxford-based Wireless Excellence, the equipment supplier to the MoD in Afghanistan, to offer a fast and dependable service for wireless broadband for Stone.

Their project already has the backing of both South Gloucestershire Council and the Diocese of Gloucester.

Stone with Woodford Church of England Primary School is central to the service.

Rural Broadband make regular donations to the school to share one of the its fibre-optic lines, which is boosted using an aerial from Wireless Excellence, picked up by a receiver on top of All Saints Church and relayed across the village.

Simon Craker, chairman of Rural Broadband, who lives in Wickwar, said: “This is a community project to offer the village an ultra-fast, economical and reliable Internet service.

“The speeds are unmatched by the traditional suppliers – up to five times faster than BT at 500mb – and will roll out in the village in the next few months.”

Chris Chopping, warden at All Saints Church, and David Joyce, head of governors at Stone’s primary school have been heavily involved in the project.

Mr Craker says: “Without the support of Mr Chopping and Mr Joyce, we would not be able to help Stone’s leap into the digital age.

“Their persistence, perseverance and tenacity drove this project forward, without their efforts, the project would not have happened.”

The service was showcased at a meeting with residents in which they were invited to stream videos on their mobile devices at the same time to test the broadband’s performance.

Monthly subscription rates for the service are £25 for 10mb, £35 for 40mb and £43 for 100mb.

Each house or business would need to install a small receiving aerial for a one-off cost of around £150 including installation.

Subscribers can use the internet service for phone calls which would cut the cost of the monthly BT landline.

For more information call 0333 0111 757, visit or the company's Facebook page at