TV presenter Kim Inglis-Jeffries and her husband David Jeffries have found the high-speed technology has been a huge boost for their work and personal lives at Blencogo Farm. Kim said: “Life before fibre – I don’t really know how to describe it. The internet was so slow here and for the farm we rely on using the internet and social media. We send and use lots of photographs and I could waste half a day trying to send an email with photographs on it whereas now it just goes like that! It’s made the absolute world of difference. “
Kim explained how having a fast fibre connection has resulted in them becoming a great deal more productive. She said: “It’s really important obviously that we can do things on the website – keep people up to date when we have babies born or when we’re doing things like shearing or mating we need to be able to tell people. And now we can do it at the touch of a button.”
Not only has it enabled them to become more productive, it’s also meant they can attract more visitors to the farm. “What we’ve found is with the fibre broadband, we can react much quicker, we can reach more people and we have started to have people who have come from Manchester or further afield who have seen something on social media and decided that they would like a hands-on experience.”
David Jeffries also runs a business from the farm, Ministry of Doing, which is a company that provides digital services from consultancy through to building websites, with clients all over the world. Having superfast fibre broadband has enabled him to communicate with them a lot better than before.
Kim is also a TV presenter and journalist so she’s very often out ‘on the road’ working, including recording voice overs. She can now send the voice overs from her home on the farm. She said: “It used to take me hours and hours and hours whereas now I can do a 3, 4, 5, 10-minute voice over and the client has it within minutes – it’s just amazing.”
But it’s not just about boosting their business. Now they are able to stream media, such as BBC iPlayer and Spotify, and use Facetime to communicate with family. The fibre broadband was made available to the farm thanks to Connecting Cumbria, a multi-million pound partnership between Cumbria County Council, BT and the UK Government. The partnership is working to provide superfast broadband to as many premises as possible, as quickly as possible. Jonathan Harris, Connecting Cumbria senior programme manager, said: “It’s great to see businesses like the alpaca farm in Blencogo getting access to superfast broadband. And, of course, we’re trying to do that across Cumbria, not just for businesses but for individuals, school children, everybody - we’re trying to provide that superfast broadband infrastructure.”
Steve Haines, Managing Director for Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, said: “Cumbria has some very challenging terrain with some major obstacles to overcome as we deliver high-speed fibre broadband to as many communities and businesses as possible, such as farms like Blencogo.” Mike Blackburn, Chairman of BT’s North West regional board, said: “Superfast broadband is a major asset in helping today’s businesses attract new customers and work more efficiently. Whatever type of business you are, you can get more done with a superfast fibre service.”
More than nine out of ten premises across the UK can access superfast broadband speeds. For more details on the roll-out visit openreach.co.uk/whereandwhen