Car company moves into the fast lane with superfast broadband

VIP Visit for Leading Car Company 

A North Yorkshire firm, which is transforming the way it does business thanks to the Superfast North Yorkshire roll-out of fibre broadband, was the subject of a VIP visit today.

Alexander’s Prestige, based in the village of Roecliffe, near Boroughbridge, supplies a wide range of prestige, sports and 4x4 vehicles (plus their own range of horseboxes) and was one of the first firms in the area to sign up to fibre broadband when it was enabled by Superfast North Yorkshire.

Julian Smith, Skipton and Ripon MP, and Chris Townsend, chief executive of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the government organisation in charge of improving rural broadband, paid a fact-finding visit to the car dealership to find out more on how it was benefitting from the superfast speeds.

Julian Smith, MP, said: “It was great to visit Alexander’s and hear first-hand the real difference that superfast broadband is making to their business.

“More than 17,000 homes and businesses in my constituency can now access fibre broadband as a result of the investment that this Government and the County Council is making in North Yorkshire. There is more to do, more communities and businesses to get online, but it is fantastic to see the positive impact of faster broadband speeds for businesses and families.”

Alexander’s customers are from all over the UK with around 95 percent of customer enquiries being generated by its website. Before signing up to fibre broadband, even simple tasks could be slow and frustrating, but now the company is enjoying download speeds of around 70Mbps and significantly improved upload speeds.

Andrew North, managing director of Alexander’s, said: “Access to super-fast broadband has been hugely important to us. Our new fast and reliable connection means we can respond quickly to the needs of our customers who rely on us to provide them with detailed information on our cars. Previously it took three hours to upload all the marketing information about a single car to various websites – we can now do it in a fraction of the time.

“We also have a site in Ripon and in the past it was often difficult to communicate and share data between the two sites. Superfast broadband means we’re now able to operate much more effectively. It’s not rocket science, but it enables everything in the business to operate much more smoothly. We think this is normal now, but not long ago things were very different with our old connection.”

The majority of premises in North Yorkshire will be getting access to some of the best broadband speeds boosting the competitiveness of local firms and offering new ways of flexible working, entertainment and learning opportunities for local residents.

Fibre is transforming internet use within the home, from communicating with family and friends to entertainment, shopping and online gaming.

The benefits are also considerable for businesses, which can do much more in far less time. Firms can speed up file and data transfers, collaborate with colleagues and customers on conference or video calls or swap their hardware and expensive software licenses for files, processing power and software from cloud computing. Staff can work as effectively from home as they would in the office.

Chris Townsend, chief executive of BDUK, said: “North Yorkshire was the first County to deliver superfast broadband using BDUK funds and the roll-out has been swift, with more than 133,000 homes and businesses now able to access faster speeds and a more reliable service.

“The opportunity to meet a local business with a national customer base and hear about the difference the rollout has made to them has been extremely worthwhile. Providing access to superfast speeds to UK businesses and homes is one of Government’s top priorities and we’re on track to deliver this to 95% of the UK by 2017.”

The Superfast North Yorkshire project was the first in the UK to deploy fibre broadband using Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and European Union (ERDF) funds following the signing of a £36.4m contract led by North Yorkshire County Council and BT in July 2012.

The high-speed network installed by Openreach, BT’s local network business, offers fibre broadband access to all service providers on an open, wholesale basis, which underpins a competitive market and delivers real customer choice for residents and businesses across North Yorkshire.

For further information on the Superfast North Yorkshire programme visit www.superfastnorthyorkshire.com

Due to the current network topography, and the economics of deployment, it is likely that some premises within the selected exchange areas will not initially be able to access fibre-based broadband. Alternative solutions for these locations are being investigated.

For further information please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news
Photography illustrating the Superfast North Yorkshire project is available here:

Notes to Editors:

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:
• £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
• £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services.
Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK),Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

About Superfast North Yorkshire
Superfast North Yorkshire was created in July 2012 following the signing of the contract between North Yorkshire County Council and BT, which will see a total fibre broadband investment in the county expected to reach around £70 million.
North Yorkshire is the first county in the UK successfully to deploy Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds, which will be used to extend the roll-out of faster broadband across the county. The project will reach those areas outside of any commercial roll-out using a partnership approach to ensure all communities have access to the fastest possible broadband speeds.
The Superfast North Yorkshire project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf