According to Martyn Rowlands, Managing Director and founder of Pipekit Ltd, upgrading to superfast broadband has transformed the way they do business and catapulted them onto the world stage. Over the past 12 months, the family-run firm, based in Annscroft, near Shrewsbury, has seen its turnover increase significantly – with superfast broadband seen as a key driver. The technology has enabled the plastic pipework and drainage distributor, which employs nine people, to expand its already well-established online presence.
Martyn said: “We still have a traditional trade counter, but our website quickly became our new window on the world, helping us to showcase our products around the country and around the world. I realised when I set up the business in a rural area in a rural county that we needed to sell nationally and online was the way to do it. Now with superfast fibre broadband – through our provider, Shrewsbury-based Pure Telecom - we get download speeds of 70 megabits per second (Mbps) over Openreach’s network - which means we can update our website as often as we need to, without having to wait for pages and pictures to load. We can also stay in touch with our customers and suppliers more easily and quickly through emails and online chats. All our ordering and deliveries are done online too. Superfast broadband has helped us to expand in ways we could not have imagined before. The fact we’re in rural Shropshire doesn’t matter. We’re adapting to the technology that is available to us. As a result, we’re first choice for customers as far apart as Scotland and Singapore, with international sales now making up more than 10 per cent of our business.”
More than 198,000 businesses and homes across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin now have access to faster fibre broadband as a result of BT’s multi-million pound commercial roll-out and the company’s partnerships with the public sector. Steve Haines, Managing Director for Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, said: “Fibre broadband is no longer a nice to have for business. It is a need to have. High-speed access breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world like online trading, which helps to empower our small businesses. I would encourage those who can already access fibre-based broadband to contact their service provider to arrange an upgrade. It’s an ‘opt in’ service, but because the Openreach network is ‘open’, there is a wide choice of fibre broadband providers.”
Ian Binks, BT’s Regional Partnership Director for the West Midlands, said: “Every day we hear how superfast broadband is changing people’s lives for the better. Whether it’s firms like Pipekit which are using it to tap into new markets, or families using the internet for leisure and learning – everything is easier, better and faster with fibre broadband.”