Roses are red, violets are blue, be online this Valentine’s day and the sweet one will be you

Dorset entrepreneurs are finding new ways to grow their businesses thanks to superfast fibre broadband this Valentine’s Day. With more and more people choosing to shop online, local retailers are making the most of fibre broadband to find those customers online rather than on the high street.

As the Government’s Broadband Development UK (BDUK) programme celebrated 2 million UK homes and businesses having access to superfast fibre broadband, Angel Cake Company (www.angelcakecompany.co.uk) in Dorchester explained how business had grown since taking up fibre broadband and getting help to use it more effectively.

Nicci Campbell, the company owner, said: “We used to be on dial up for internet access, which meant we didn’t have a website or any online presence. However, since ordering fibre broadband, our cake portfolio is now held on our website; our business has grown by more than 60 per cent and our online activity has been a big part of that growth.

“And with baking seeing an increase in popularity thanks to shows like The Great British Bake-off, we are seeing more people buying cakes as a Valentine’s gift and embellishments for their own creations. Often men are looking to buy a sweet gift for their sweetheart.”

Nicci is making the most of the new digital technology thanks to Dorset Business Women go Digital, a Superfast Dorset business support project funded by the Government Equalities Office and delivered by WSX Enterprise. She said:

“I was a complete Luddite; I had no idea how to use digital technology until I went to the project launch conference in the autumn. Over the next few months I went to sessions on using Facebook, blogging and understanding Google Analytics. It has made a tremendous difference to my business.”

The Angel Cake Company is within BT’s commercial rollout, which has already made fibre broadband available to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the county. Now Superfast Dorset, a partnership between Dorset councils, BDUK and BT, is extending this with thousands more connections being made every month.

Dorset County Councillor Colin Jamieson holds the Cabinet portfolio for the Economy. He said:

“Many Dorset businesses understand how faster broadband can help their business and just need to know when Superfast Dorset reaches them. However, some need support to make the most of it. Superfast Business and Dorset Business Women go Digital, two programmes delivered by WSX Enterprise, have been helping businesses across Dorset to use digital technology to grow their business.”

BT’s high-speed fibre broadband network is now accessible to nearly 22 million homes and businesses across the UK. This means around three quarters of UK premises can order much faster broadband from a wide variety of internet service providers.

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said:

“Today marks a giant step forward in the rollout of fibre broadband in Dorset and across the UK. In Dorset, more than 275,000 homes and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to Superfast Dorset and BT’s own commercial fibre broadband programme.

“Successful, forward thinking partnerships, such as Superfast Dorset, are enabling us to reach into the heart of hundreds of communities that have so far been beyond the reach of this vital technology. Nationally, the Government estimates that more than 56,000 jobs will be created by 2024 as a result of this rollout and that rural economies will benefit by around £9 million every day due to the work being done now. “

More Dorset communities are benefiting from faster, more reliable broadband every month. Find out if it’s available for you already, at www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast , or keep in touch with the project by signing up for our e-newsletter and request an email when it reaches your postcode.

Dorset Business Women go Digital has online help for businesses athttp://www.wsxenterprise.co.uk/dorsetbusinesswomengodigital. Further help for Dorset businesses to make the most of digital is available at http://www.superfastbusiness.co.uk/


Notes to editors:
Valentines facts Comment:
• Industry analysts estimate that the UK cut flower market is worth a staggering £2.2 billion per year with 20 per cent of their yearly sales coming from Valentine’s Day. (Source http://www.flowersandplantsassociation.org.uk/industry/uk-market.htm)
• Brits may be spending almost £1 billion on Valentine's Day gifts and experiences. (Source http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/11/valentines-day-business-stats-show-we-are-scrimping-on-everything-but-flowers_n_2661179.html)
• Men traditionally spend more than women – with men expected to spend more than £620 million collectively, compared to more than £350 million being spent by women. (Source http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/11/valentines-day-business-stats-show-we-are-scrimping-on-everything-but-flowers_n_2661179.html)

Enquiries about this news release should be made to:
• Penny Syddall on 01305 225065
• For BT enquiries, contact 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre

About the Superfast Dorset project
Superfast Dorset is a partnership between BT, the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, the Borough of Poole, Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council, Purbeck District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
Partner contributions
DMCS - £9.44 m
BT - £12.87 m
Dorset councils - £9.44 m towards the infrastructure plus a further £1.3 m to ensure the benefits are maximised.
Breakdown of Local Authority allocation including project management costs
• Dorset County Council - £7,429,073
• West Dorset District Council - £1,259,834
• Christchurch Borough Council - £100,044
• East Dorset District Council - £293,512
• North Dorset District Council - £741,966
• Purbeck District Council - £350,718
• Weymouth & Portland Borough Council - £153,093
• Bournemouth Borough Council - £70,495
• Poole Borough Council - £227,490

Further information is available from www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast

About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of 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:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £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