Michael and Gill Brown own and run Dissington Hall Enterprise Hub set in a 200 year-old Georgian mansion near the rural village of Dalton in Northumberland.
Three miles away from the nearest exchange meant that the hall used to struggle with less than 2 Megabits per second (Mbps) broadband speeds before upgrading with a wireless connection in 2013. As a result of the far better connection (between 50 and 100 Mbps) the couple were able to build a successful enterprise hub of around 20 businesses through office space rented in the hall and its buildings.
When Michael and Gill heard that a change in local infrastructure would result in them losing that connection they acted quickly and set up a group project through the government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. Vouchers for each of the businesses at the hall were pooled together to cover the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband through their local supplier, Rymote with the final connection being made the day before the Covid-19 lockdown began in March 2020.
Now, the gigabit-capable connection is an integral part of their business offer to their tenants and has even ensured that some of the businesses on site were able to keep operating through the period of shutdown.
Mick said: “Our new connection made an immediate impact on our business with regard to WiFi and video calling, uploading data for storage and even being able to manage our online presence. Many of our tenants were able to work remotely and some of our tenants have even been able to plan for expansion as a result of the better connectivity. As we emerge from lockdown everyone is going to enjoy the business building benefit of this future-proof technology.”