The Animal Country Club in the rural village of Moreton, Essex, has become the 2,000th premises the county to have access to Gigaclear’s ultrafast fibre broadband service, meaning their internet speeds now run significantly faster than the excitable pups on site.
The connection is the result of Essex County Council’s Superfast Essex programme, which has been working in the Epping Forest District with Gigaclear to deliver its Rural Challenge Project. The project, which began in November 2015, was designed to test alternative ways of bringing superfast connectivity to rural communities and businesses and has now reached a significant milestone with more than 2,000 properties in the area now having access to the UK’s fastest broadband with speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.
The Animal Country Club, and co-located Resting Pets, now have access to Internet speeds of up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps), 33x faster* than the UK average, which has revolutionised the way they do business. Margaret Gemmill, Director of the site, said: “There are four pet-related businesses located on Wood Farm so being connected is extremely important to us. The Gigaclear service has improved the interconnection for the whole site; we have a brand-new phone system and we can respond to our customer’s email enquiries much more quickly. It also frees up some time for us to spend with the animals as we are no longer waiting around for a connection.
Margaret Gemmill, Owner of Animal Country Club with her dog, Bertie, and Joe Frost from Gigaclear
“I’m also really excited because we have been able to make our website mobile friendly which means that we are more accessible for our customers and are now better able to compete with larger organisations in the area. Gigaclear has enabled us to take our services to the next level. We are now more competitive and better connected to our customers through our website, rather than being disadvantaged due to our rural location.”
Joe Frost, Business Development Director, at Gigaclear, said: "This marks our 2,000th fibre connected property passed in the area and is a real achievement for our partnership with Superfast Essex. So far, we’ve completed 80% of the trench digging, with almost 200km of ultrafast broadband fibres being installed in the region, and it’s great to see local businesses benefitting. The service and speeds they can now access are faster than most of their competitors located in city centres. Ultrafast broadband presents them with fantastic opportunities to not only grow, but to become more relevant in this ever-connected world.”
He added: “We are very pleased that we have been able to partner with the Superfast Essex team, and jointly make a huge difference to the residents and businesses in the Epping Forest project area.”
Essex County Councillor Penny Channer, Deputy Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, said: “It’s fantastic to see our rural Essex businesses thriving thanks to greater broadband connectivity. The council recognises that faster broadband speeds can have countless benefits for businesses, enabling flexibility, growth and accessibility, to name but a few. The Rural Challenge Project has been an excellent pilot project for the Superfast Essex programme and businesses, such as the Animal County Club, are testament to all the good work the programme has achieved so far. The County Council is committed to pushing further and extending connectivity to more of these rural areas.”
Epping Forest District Councillor Alan Lion, Technology and Support Services Portfolio Holder said “We are delighted to see the continued success of the Rural Challenge Project and the step-change in broadband connectivity that Gigaclear are delivering to the residents and businesses of the intervention area. This ultrafast broadband service is enabling our businesses to transform the levels of service and competitiveness they offer and is opening up a whole new world of opportunity and potential for them to grow and flourish in the future.”
From L-R, Cllr Penny Channer, Connie Kerbst, Margaret Gemmill, Bertie the dog, Joe Frost, Cllr Alan Lion
The Superfast Essex programme was introduced by Essex County Council to improve broadband connectivity in the county. Having enabled over 73,000 premises to access superfast internet speeds (24Mbps and above) already, through work with BT and Gigaclear, the programme is now on track to reach more than 120,000 homes and businesses by 2019. The aim is to provide 95% superfast broadband coverage across Essex.
For more information on the Superfast Essex broadband rollout, please visit: www.superfastessex.org
* Based on Ofcom's review of UK broadband speeds published 1st December 2015.