With fibre broadband now par for the course across most of Rutland, it’s not just people living in the county who are reaping the benefits.
More than 800 local businesses are also able to access high-speed fibre broadband, thanks to the Digital Rutland partnership between the county council and BT Group. One of them is Greetham Valley Hotel, Golf and Conference Centre, which says the technology’s opening up new opportunities.
It’s now able to offer high-speed broadband access throughout the hotel, including lodges, function facilities, lounge bar, restaurant and conference rooms.
Sean Clarke, general manager of Greetham Valley, said: “It’s totally transformed our business in terms of internet access. We used to receive negative feedback as people struggled with slow speeds. With lots of people trying to connect at the same time, it was pretty normal for devices to fail even with minimal usage.
“Even though we recognise we’re in a fairly remote location, the expectation nowadays from customers is for high-speed broadband to be available. It’s great we’re now able to provide excellent access to all of our customers, and it’s opened up real opportunity in our conference market, which is hugely important to us.”
Digital Rutland is a multi-million pound partnership between Rutland County Council and BT Group. Launched in 2012, it’s now made fibre broadband available to more than 10,000 homes and businesses across the county.
Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Rutland was one of the first to sign a contract to deliver high-speed broadband. We recognised from the beginning that high speeds were vitally important in our rural area, not only to people living here but also our business sector. It’s important that businesses based here are able to compete on an equal footing with competitors in other parts of the country. We know that hundreds of local companies have benefited as a result of our work.”
Across Rutland, around 95 per cent of premises can now get fibre broadband thanks to the Digital Rutland programme and BT Group’s own commercial rollout. And the number of people choosing to take-up the technology in Rutland – more than 59 per cent of those able to get the service – is higher than any other county in the country and continues to increase.
Work is now continuing to reach the few remaining premises across the county and is expected to be complete within the next 12 months.
Engineering work for Digital Rutland is being carried out by Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network. This means residents and businesses can order fibre broadband products from a wide range of internet service providers, with speeds up to 80Mbps widely available.
Steve Henderson, Openreach’s regional director for next generation access, said: “We often hear about how people are using fibre broadband at home, but the benefits to businesses should not be overlooked. Greetham Valley is a great example of how it can help businesses not only in the way they operate, but also in the service they can provide to their customers, particularly at the 19th hole.”
For more information about Digital Rutland and how to sign up for fibre broadband, please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland.