Small businesses growth in Staffordshire is being sped up with faster broadband thanks to a joint multi-million pound project by the county council and BT.
Today’s national internet access statistics show that more and more people and businesses in the county are getting connected through the Superfast Staffordshire programme.
In May, the programme connected the county council’s Lymedale Business Centre in Newcastle to fibre to the premises’ (FTTP*) technology. This is the first in Staffordshire as part of the project. FTTP, where fibre optic cables are installed from the telephone exchange direct to a building, enables the small and medium businesses based there to access download speeds of up to 330 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of up to 30Mbps*.
Lymedale is home to 36 small businesses across a range of sectors. Access to superfast broadband is already making a big difference to them.
Nasar Riaz is director of Abzorbed Events, an events management business. He said:
Connection to superfast broadband is absolutely necessary to us – it is the lifeblood of our business. Slow broadband will slow your company down. This is essential to our ongoing growth.”
Sempar, an accounts and tax planning company, is just five months old. In that time it has grown by 20 per cent. Client manager Aludia Binos said:
Our connection to superfast broadband has certainly boosted our productivity. Most of our software is cloud based and we’re now able to connect to our clients by Skype.”
Lyndon Eaton, director of IT business – Luminite – said his business is now enjoying a superfast broadband connection at a very reasonable price.
As a result of BT and Staffordshire County Council laying the foundation for facilitating fibre to the premises, not only have we benefited from the much improved speeds ourselves, but have also been able to expand our own product portfolio as a broadband reseller, providing us with another route to market to the other businesses within the centre.
“We work with a growing number of businesses within the Lymedale Business Centre itself, and because of the more robust broadband now available, businesses within the centre are able to take full advantage of our telephony solutions, which will reduce costs in terms of line rentals and call charges, while at the same time improve efficiency and functionality.”
Kerryanne Clancy, PR account manager for PlinkFizz, explained how it is helping their business be even more professional:
We create designs for print and online for clients, which need to be sent back and forth for approval before being sent to printers and web builders. We also commission a great deal of photography work for our clients and, again, these are sent to us as high res images which are huge file sizes.
“Both of these daily processes now take us minutes, rather than hours, which is helping to improve our efficiency as a business and making us appear more professional to both clients and suppliers as we’re able to hit tight deadlines. Fibre broadband has improved our external communications considerably.”
More than 89,000 businesses and households across the county are now able to access faster fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Staffordshire. The figure rises to more than 464,000 when combined with commercial roll-outs by private sector companies, such as BT.
Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s economy leader, said:
The Superfast Staffordshire programme has been making a real difference to people and businesses across the county since the first fibre cabinet installation two years ago. People are better connected and have more opportunities as a result.
“Small businesses at Lymedale have told us that their recent connection to ultrafast broadband is already improving productivity and day to day working. We’re sure this will be the first of many business premises to get connected to ultrafast broadband.”
Ian Binks, BT’s regional manager for Staffordshire and the West Midlands, said:
Every day we’re seeing how faster fibre broadband is making a positive impact on businesses and households. Whether it’s sharing large files of information or updating customers and suppliers, everything is easier and better with fibre broadband.”
People can follow the Superfast Staffordshire roll-out and find out more about how it is benefiting other businesses at Lymedale Business Centre and elsewhere via the website: www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk.
Lymedale Business Centre is part of Lymedale Business Park, which was developed by Staffordshire County Council.