Traditional Upholstery Business Celebrates Becoming Cornwall’s 1,000th Superfast Broadband Customer
18 July 2011
External Link: www.bt.com
A traditional upholstery business in the quiet village of Blackwater, near Truro, has become Cornwall’s 1,000th superfast broadband customer.
Tristan Kimber, 39, who specialises in restoring traditional and modern upholstery for homes and business as well as manufacturing items like headboards, is the latest businessman to benefit from the pioneering Superfast Cornwall private and public sector partnership. Superfast broadband will be playing a vital role in his future expansion plans for the firm.
“Upholstery is a traditional craft that has been in decline, but we believe we can use superfast broadband to grow our business and to help pass on our skills to a new generation,” said Tristan, who started his firm 12 years ago with a £500 redundancy payment when his previous employer went out of business. “The technology will help us update and maintain our new website in a flash and make more use of video in our marketing.
“And, very importantly, it will revolutionise the way we can communicate with our customers, some of whom live in London. We will be able to use on-line video calls to maintain a more personal relationship with them and even show them fabrics and work in progress on their furniture.
“In fact, the technology is helping us to improve all our business operations. Superfast broadband allows us to order supplies on-line and carry out internet-based research far more quickly; and now new state-of-the-art ‘cloud computing’ applications, such as back-up of our files and records on-line, become much more viable.”
A further possibility is on-line video-based training for budding upholsterers as Tristan’s company is used as a training centre for an upholstery course run through Truro College.
Even family life in the Kimber household is getting a boost from the technology. “Family life is very busy,” he said. “We have a nine-month-old baby girl, Beth. Superfast broadband offers us the opportunity to shop on-line, download films and access TV on demand much more quickly. It is changing our lives for the better in many ways.”
Superfast Cornwall, a partnership between BT, the European Convergence Programme, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Development Company, expects to make super-fast fibre-based broadband available to at least 80 per cent of homes and businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by the end of 2014 with alternative technologies, such as wireless and satellite, being used to boost speeds in those areas where super-fast broadband is not currently viable.
Nigel Ashcroft, programme director of Superfast Cornwall for Cornwall Development Company, which is managing the £132 million programme, said: “The superfast broadband benefits experienced by Tristan’s firm show that this exciting technology can offer a tremendous boost to all businesses, whether traditional or new wave creative industries, as well as households.
“We are very pleased with the early take-up of superfast broadband from Cornish homes and businesses. There is already a widespread and growing understanding in the county of the tremendous opportunities and how it can play a vital role in giving Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly a better, more prosperous future.”
Up to £53.5 million of the funding for Superfast Cornwall is coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Convergence programme, the largest ever single European investment in broadband infrastructure, with BT investing up to £78.5 million. The roll-out is expected to create 4,000 new jobs and to protect a further 2,000 existing jobs and will make Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly one of the best connected places in the world.
The much faster upload speeds available with superfast broadband - the fastest in the UK - make two-way video calling and cloud computing services possible and allow items, such as large data files, to be sent almost instantly.
Around half of the 100 exchanges in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are expected to have been upgraded by the autumn of next year. The exchange serving Tristan’s business was one of eight upgraded earlier this year as part of a pilot run in advance of the main roll-out programme. The other exchanges already upgraded are St Agnes, St Day, Portreath, Devoran, Leedstown, Stenalees and Par. They currently provide superfast broadband to around 80 per cent of homes and businesses in these areas.
The new network is available on an equal basis to all firms offering super-fast broadband services. Customers can find out more about the programme at www.superfastcornwall.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information contact:
BT, OpenReach,Super Fast Broadband,
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