Worry-free Broadband for rural business
Marketing consultancy, Fuel Marketing, is based in a rural location where standard broadband services aren’t available.
Owner, Vicky Boulton, experienced seven years of frustration with the limited capacity and unreliability of her satellite broadband service. Vicky says: “ As a marketing consultant, communication is very important. I had to buy a block of data each month and I was always worried about running out. Topping up was expensive, so I was constantly checking how much I had left and postponing downloads or watching videos for my clients to stay within my limits. Zoom calls would often fail and sometimes I even had to go to cafés to stream videos because they were constantly buffering in the office.”
Small Business, Marketing
Vicky knew it was time to look for an alternative solution: “When you run your business from home you need to be connected to the world without failures or delays. I felt my current system wasn’t allowing me to work efficiently, or create the right professional impression. I had four major problems with my provider in seven years, but two of them were this year (2020).
“Transferring artwork was a common requirement, but I was struggling because it used so much of my data allowance. My service would be stable for a while, but there were often issues. When I had to deal with technical support it was like dealing with aliens. They didn’t explain what caused the problems and often didn't even phone back to tell me when things were working again.
“I wasn’t sure how to find a better solution and didn’t think a larger specialist communications provider would be responsive to my needs. However, one of my clients recommended BTT to me because they had solved similar problems for them.”
Many businesses are actively thinking about new ways of working. This might mean providing a virtual private network (VPN) that allows some of the team to work in the office while others work remotely or from different locations.
The choice of solution is important because it will have a direct impact on business operations. While broadband is increasingly seen as a utility, this standardised approach won’t meet the needs of many companies because their capacity and resilience requirements can’t be met.
The first step for Fuel Marketing was to check local broadband availability. Although the postcode suggested that a broadband service should be available, carefully looking at a map clearly showed that the site was too far away from the local cabinet to receive an adequate service.
We understood that Vicky needed much more capacity to work efficiently and that reliability was an essential requirement. A 4G installation was a good option for the site and location, but the house was old, with thick walls and a long, thin layout, meaning that indoor coverage could be a problem. Bandwidth affects indoor penetration and, since Vicky’s work is mostly home-based, it was essential that all her requirements were met.
Outdoor aerials were installed, immediately providing 30Mbps for the office. After some discussions with Vicky, we amended the solution to provide mesh Wi-Fi for the whole house and outdoor coverage. This meant her business needs would be met and she had would have a lifestyle solution as well.
Zoom meetings could be started with confidence, knowing they wouldn’t freeze or fail, and Vicky could work much more efficiently. After some on-site testing we decided to put up antennae, effectively doubling the bandwidth to more than 50Mb to give resilience and reduce frustration.
Vicky continues: “Initially, I had a service for the office and could get a good 4G signal into the house for the first time, which was excellent after previous restrictions. However, it wasn’t available around the rest of the house.
“We tweaked requirements to provide a more complete service and I was assured that I could call at any time if there were concerns or issues. Initially there was a problem; it would work well for two days, then it would stop, and one of the rooms wasn't getting a signal. I called when this happened so the cause could be properly understood.
“With other providers this might have been a problem, but everyone was so friendly and just wanted to make sure everything worked properly. The set-up was changed, even though it did take a while to sort out on site. Now everything just works with no problems at all.”
The first benefit was problem-free operation, which gave Vicky confidence in the reliability of her service.
“You want to feel involved in finding the right solution. What I have now isn’t the cheapest option, but I needed a much better service to run my business efficiently. Heaven and earth were moved to make sure the installation was right. Now I’m happy to have a service that works and there’s always someone on the phone if I need to ask a question.
“Other providers were always quick to tell me what I needed, but with BTT I felt that my concerns were listened to and understood before options were suggested. The free one-month ‘try before you buy’ trial for my own tailor-made solution was a unique and exceptional feature.
“While I’ve invested in new hardware, the monthly fees are good. My monthly usage allowance is off the chart; I’ve gone from 40GB a month to 650GB, which is saving me time in the long term, and my monthly contract is 30% less.
“My use is being monitored for me. I can’t imagine I will need more, but if I do, someone will let me know in advance.
“We are now living in a new online era and the way we all do business is changing. Zoom calls are part of everyday life now, but with my previous connection they weren’t stable or failed halfway through. Now I don’t need to worry about how long the calls take, or whether they will end unexpectedly.
“I don’t have to put things like downloads off any more. In fact, I don’t have to think about anything except doing my job.
“Most of all, the service is great because of the people; everyone just wants to help. They do what they say and back it up with service.
“Everyone at BTT just wants you to be happy. They understand running a business and the importance of technology. They listen to you and will give advice about where they can usefully intervene. It’s very reassuring to know that there are people who will explain and distil information and who sincerely want to find a solution that works for you.
They keep in touch too. There’s no automated call handling or voicemail. Of course, technology is important, but it’s nice to talk to people.”
The BTT team always looks for the best solution for each client. Every business is different, and their solutions need to be tailored to their requirements.
Contact us to discuss the best way to meet your business telecommunications and security challenges.