Superfast fibre makes world of difference to Cumbrian alpaca farm

The owners of a Cumbrian farm famous for its alpacas have seen “a world of difference” since getting superfast fibre broadbandTV presenter Kim Inglis-Jeffries and her husband David Jeffries have found the high-speed technology has been a huge boost for their work and personal lives at Blencogo Farm.

Kim said: “Life before fibre – I don’t really know how to describe it. The internet was so slow here and for the farm we rely on using the internet and social media. We send and use lots of photographs and I could waste half a day trying to send an email with photographs on it whereas now it just goes like that! It’s made the absolute world of difference. “

Kim explained how having a fast fibre connection has resulted in them becoming a great deal more productive.

She said: “It’s really important obviously that we can do things on the website – keep people up to date when we have babies born or when we’re doing things like shearing or mating we need to be able to tell people.And now we can do it at the touch of a button.”

Not only has it enabled them to become more productive, it’s also meant they can attract more visitors to the farm.

“What we’ve found is with the fibre broadband, we can react much quicker, we can reach more people and we have started to have people who have come from Manchester or further afield who have seen something on social media and decided that they would like a hands-on experience.”

David Jeffries also runs a business from the farm, Ministry of Doing, which is a company that provides digital services from consultancy through to building websites, with clients all over the world. Having superfast fibre broadband has enabled him to communicate with them a lot better than before.

Kim is also a TV presenter and journalist so she’s very often out ‘on the road’ working, including recording voice overs. She can now send the voice overs from her home on the farm.

She said: “It used to take me hours and hours and hours whereas now I can do a 3, 4, 5, 10-minute voice over and the client has it within minutes – it’s just amazing.”

But it’s not just about boosting their business. Now they are able to stream media, such as BBC iPlayer and Spotify, and use Facetime to communicate with family.

The fibre broadband was made available to the farm thanks to Connecting Cumbria, a multi million pound partnership between Cumbria County Council, BT and the UK Government.

The partnership is working to provide superfast broadband to as many premises as possible, as quickly as possible.

Jonathan Harris, Connecting Cumbria senior programme manager, said: “It’s great to see businesses like the alpaca farm in Blencogo getting access to superfast broadband.

“And, of course, we’re trying to do that across Cumbria, not just for businesses but for individuals, school children, everybody - we’re trying to provide that superfast broadband infrastructure.”

Steve Haines, managing director for Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, said: “Cumbria has some very challenging terrain with some major obstacles to overcome as we deliver high-speed fibre broadband to as many communities and businesses as possible, such as farms like Blencogo.”

Mike Blackburn, chairman of BT’s North West regional board, said: “Superfast broadband is a major asset in helping today’s businesses attract new customers and work more efficiently. Whatever type of business you are, you can get more done with a superfast fibre service.”

More than nine out of ten premises across the UK can access superfast broadband speeds. For more details on the roll-out visit openreach.co.uk/whereandwhen


Press contact:Please contact the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

Notes to Editors:

About Connecting Cumbria

Since October 2013, the Connecting Cumbria project – a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT - has enabled more than 600 fibre broadband cabinets, with more being switched on every day. More than 120,000 households and businesses now have access to fibre as a result of the project.

The Connecting Cumbria Programme’s ambition will, by a combination of commercial investment and gap funding made available to us, enable access to Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband to 95 per cent of Cumbrian homes and businesses when added to the private sector’s commercial rollout.And Connecting Cumbria is providing two thirds of its rollout with speeds of more than 50 mbps.

There is, in addition, a commitment that all Cumbrian properties will have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps by some means. In the majority of cases this is already available or will shortly be made available via the deployment of fibre services however where properties cannot yet access this basic level of broadband services there are subsides available through the Broadband Delivery UK Better Broadband Scheme to support access to services using alternative technology – details of this scheme can be found on the Connecting Cumbria website.

Connecting Cumbria will ensure maximum coverage is achieved from available resources, demonstrating maximum value for money. Cumbria County Council has a continuing commitment to expand NGA broadband services and make NGA broadband service available to additional areas across Cumbria as funding becomes available.

About BDUK

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

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.BT consists of six customer-facing lines of business: Consumer, EE, Business and Public Sector, Global Services, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2017, BT Group’s reported revenue was £24,062m with reported profit before taxation of £2,354m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com

    About Openreach

    Openreach is the UK’s leading digital infrastructure provider.

    Its 32,000 employees are responsible for building and maintaining millions of miles of fibre and copper cables that connect every home and business in the UK to local telephone exchanges. Openreach operates and maintains this network to deliver a range of wholesale services for more than 580 retail providers, who in-turn provide telephony, broadband, TV and data services to more than 30 million consumer and business customers throughout the country.

    Openreach is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of its revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom. Any company can access its products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

    Over the last decade, Openreach has invested more than £10bn into its network and is currently building the UK’s largest fibre broadband footprint. This technology is available to more than 26 million homes and businesses, with tens of thousands more gaining access each week.

    Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group. For the year ended 31 March 2017, it reported revenues of £5.1bn.

    For more information, visit openreach.co.uk