Just over a year ago we moved into our new offices on Moulton Park. An ideal location to continue to grow the business, in offices that have plenty of room to grow into. But there has always been one fly in the ointment of complete contentment. Broadband. As you may know, The Last Hurdle are a Digital Marketing Agency, like most modern businesses we have completely cloud based systems. From an online diary system to our CRM and a rather heavily used file sharing database which enables us to work collaboratively with team members and clients to send and receive large images, videos and PDF documents that are simply too large to send via email. You would think being situated in the middle of one of the largest industrial estates in Northampton the broadband speeds would be excellent. Far from it, our download speed was 5.73 Mbps and a very poor 0.28 Mbps upload speed. The national average speed for Broadband is 22.26 Mbps (down) according to Broadband.co.uk quite a discrepancy with what we were receiving.
We lease our offices from Anglian Archives, a secure document storage facility and our neighbours, who also rely on stable, secure internet access as a fundamental part of their business. Jim McColl, the General Manager and I have lamented many times over the lack of decent broadband speeds. Across UK industrial areas, where businesses are reliant on reliable broadband, the broadband is not up to the same standard as the super-fast broadband which has been rolled out across residential areas. This baffles me!
As we have grown throughout the last year and had new team members join us the slow broadband has become more and more of a problem. I considered trailblazing the “Uber Fast Broadband”, but one quote I received was in the region of £15,000 which entailed digging up the road, but if no suitable cable was found or it was found it was not possible to install, then the cost would remain but still no “Uber Fast Broadband”… they wouldn’t know until they dug up the road! I am not risk adverse but even I could see this could be a costly wild goose chase. As a temporary measure, I ordered extra lines from our broadband supplier to increase the share of the meagre broadband across the growing team.
As a Business Coach friend of mine says (thanks Joginder) there are many people who can find a problem for every solution (read it twice, it will make you smile!) Thankfully, Jim McColl from Anglian Archives is not such a person. Jim invited me to a meeting he had arranged with Olly Cogan from Redpalm Technology Services, who are also based on Moulton Park. Olly and his team have invested in technology not often seen outside of the larger UK cities; Line of Sight Wireless “Leased Lines”. Utilising a microwave signal from their main mast to a mast on our building we can have whatever internet speed we like! Jim and I decided this was the solution we had been seeking and now both businesses are currently enjoying unlimited data with internet speeds of 20 Mbps up and download speeds, we can increase this as we continue to grow; 80 Mbps will just take a couple of clicks from Redpalm. Instead of waiting a day for a video to render and upload it shoots up in a couple of minutes. A very happy TLH team, no more frustration watching a progress bar creep slowly up. And a happy accountant as the cost to install was less than 5% of the fibre option.
Now is the moral of this story: if you whinge to enough people they will find the solution for you? Or is it: a problem shared is a problem halved? Or perhaps: Ask and ye shall receive? I’ll leave that with you to decide whilst I move on to my next quandary; I could do with an extra day in between Wednesday and Thursdays that only I have access to… anyone?