Cheers! Award winning Devon brewery keeps beer orders flowing with ultrafast broadband

Otter Brewery, which produces more than seven million pints of beer and lager a year, will get access to ultrafast speeds - thanks to co-funding deal with BT

An award-winning Devon brewery set in the remote Luppitt Valley has struck a deal with BT for ultrafast broadband.

About four kilometres of underground and overhead cabling is being installed as part of extensive engineering works to deliver the latest Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology to Otter Brewery of Mathayes, Luppitt, near Honiton, by the end of Spring 2017.

The project is co-funded by the brewery and Openreach, BT’s local network business, which recently announced that it is more than doubling the maximum speeds available over its FTTP network from 330 megabits per second (Mbps) to up to one gigabit per second (Gbps).

The new network for the brewery will also make FTTP viable for a small number of nearby homes, which are also in very rural locations.

Patrick McCaig, managing director of Otter Brewery, said: “Ultrafast broadband is a huge step forward for us. At present our broadband runs at no more than a quarter of a megabit per second so very soon we will benefit from a service many hundreds of times faster.

“Fast, effective broadband is an essential part of modern day business and it will become even more important in the years ahead. Increasingly, we are communicating online with our customers and suppliers, particularly the larger companies. This new technology should help our office employees become at least ten per cent more efficient.”

The arrival of ultrafast is part of a further major expansion of the business. “We have never really tried e-commerce, but now we are redesigning our website and, as well as supplying our products for pubs, are looking much more at the ‘take home’ retail market and even the possibility of a clothing range,” said Patrick.

“Being in such a remote location, we knew that we could not sit back and wait for ultrafast broadband to come to us, but that we needed to take action.”

Otter Brewery is one of the South West’s leading breweries having won a variety of awards since it was founded 26 years ago, including most recently being highly commended in the National Business Awards and a finalist in the Rural Business Awards. The company, which employs 36 people, sells more than seven million pints of beer and lager each year to up to 2,000 pubs across the UK.

Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager, said: “This project is a great example of BT being able to work with a leading local firm to overcome considerable engineering challenges in order to deliver high-speed broadband. We will certainly celebrate with a pint of Otter when the work is completed!”

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, said: “Getting superfast broadband to rural areas is one of my top priorities. This exciting technology is vital for today’s businesses and there is no doubt that it will provide a big boost for Otter Brewery, a local company with an excellent reputation for quality and innovation. I am campaigning to ensure that all households and businesses throughout my constituency - and in rural areas further afield - are able to benefit from a good quality broadband service as soon as possible.”

The project is part of BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships programme, which has already seen BT sign agreements with more than 150 local communities and organisations to bring fibre broadband to some of the UK’s most challenging areas, including some other locations in the South West.

Kim Mears, managing director of infrastructure delivery for Openreach, said: “Getting ultrafast broadband to such a remote location in the Luppitt Valley is certainly challenging. It involves laying underground ducting as well as installing underground and overhead cabling. Our engineers are working hard to get this job completed as quickly as possible so that this local business can start benefitting from the huge opportunities offered by faster broadband.”

The Openreach network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all broadband service providers so local households and businesses can benefit from competitive pricing and a wide range of services.

For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT visit www.communityfibre.bt.com