Dominic Fairman and his wife Cathy live 8 miles from Bodmin and a mile and a half from the village of Blisland. The couple run South Penquite Farm, an organic livestock farm and campsite on Bodmin Moor. Cathy is a part-time senior district nurse and Dominic is a councillor for Cornwall Council.
In its remote location on Bodmin Moor, Dominic and Cathy were lucky to receive downloads speeds of between 2 to 5 Mbps at the farm and had tried both fixed and mobile broadband solutions to run their business and carry out their work. TV streaming was virtually impossible due to buffering; digital promotion for the campsite and online tax returns were painfully slow and Dominic twice lost data when his PC failed because he was unable to back-up to cloud-based storage.
In March 2020, just before the Corona virus crisis lockdown began, the farm received a new, faster and more reliable broadband connection as part of a government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. Organised through Openreach, the new technology means that Dominic and Cathy can obtain download speeds of more than 300 Mbps with a monthly package that works out cheaper than his previous one, and with unlimited data.
Since lockdown the new connection has been a welcome boost that has enabled the couple to manage their work and enjoy their downtime. Dominic has now web-enabled telephony and organised cloud-based storage solutions for everything; he has been able to watch webinars and to update potential visitors to the campsite, all whilst managing his council duties across the five parishes that he covers. Cathy meanwhile has been able to conduct crucial work for the NHS online managing her casework.
Dominic commented: “The difference that this has made to our lives and our neighbours’ lives has been incredible. My tax returns are seamless, I can upload photos and videos for the campsite to social media and I won’t ever have to lose data again.”