Cheshire's Small Businesses to Benefit from Superfast Broadband …

Cheshire’s Small Businesses to Benefit from Superfast Broadband Support

Published: 12th September 2013 17:00

More than 900 small and medium-sized businesses across Cheshire and Warrington are set to benefit from a 1.5m investment from the European Regional Development Fund and Connecting Cheshire to help them benefit from digital technology enabled by faster broadband.

Daniel Sadler-Roberts, IT Manager - Global Adventure ChallengesDaniel Sadler-Roberts, IT Manager – Global Adventure
Challenges
The new Connecting Cheshire Superfast Business service will be delivered by Peninsula Enterprise and Groundwork Cheshire to help eligible businesses learn about and exploit the opportunities brought about by digital technology and fibre-optic broadband. The service will work with small-to-medium-sized businesses, which are already benefiting from good connection speeds or where superfast broadband will be installed. By helping businesses grow and increase their productivity, Superfast Business hopes to create about 478 jobs across Cheshire in the next two years and boost the economy by almost 19.5m.

Connecting Cheshire recently signed a 28.5m contract with BT to extend access to high-speed fibre optic broadband to 96 per cent of all premises by 2016. Executive Member for Growth and Innovation, Councillor Herbert Manley, said: “Superfast Business is a great way for firms to understand and benefit from broadband technology. It will complement our major investment of public funds to extend faster broadband infrastructure to most areas and bring real benefit to businesses and economic growth to Cheshire.”

Sir Howard Bernstein, vice chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund local management committee, said: “This programme will help local businesses make the most of superfast broadband, improving performance and helping to create and safeguard jobs. It will provide a major boost to the Cheshire economy and the North West European Regional Development Fund programme is pleased to be supporting it financially.” Ian Gent, director at Peninsula Enterprise, said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to deliver a high-quality superfast broadband business support service in Cheshire.”

At the heart of the service is a new website: www.ccbusiness.co.uk1, with an online knowledge area that holds a selection of top tips, guides and the latest thinking from industry experts on digital technology and opportunities for businesses. Eligible businesses will have access to fully-funded support, including a team of expert advisers, a programme of events on hot topics offering inspirational insights and practical solutions and specialists with niche expertise. Businesses can visit www.ccbusiness.co.uk2 or call 0300 123 1696 to find out about the benefits of superfast broadband and associated technology and to confirm if they are eligible to access the fully-funded business support package.

Greville Kelly, director at Groundwork Cheshire, said: “Superfast broadband is about much more than speeding up your email or web browsing. It can transform all the ways that you do business. “Superfast connections offer a more reliable and consistent service – which is a crucial issue for rural businesses – whilst opening up new markets and boosting productivity.

“We are urging ambitious businesses with strong growth potential to visit our new website and find out more about the service – it has the potential to revolutionise the way they operate.” The benefits of superfast broadband are already being experienced by companies across Cheshire who say it has transformed’ their businesses. Global Adventure Challenges is a tour operator.

They work exclusively for charities, organising fundraising events. The business employs around 50 people, 14 of whom are based at the company’s HQ in Saltney, Chester. “We needed a fast and reliable communications service.

Problem was, we didn’t have one. Our existing broadband connection was just too slow for uploading and downloading” states Daniel Sadler-Roberts, IT Manager. “Our fibre-enabled service allows us to upload at up to 20Mbit/s and download at up to 80Mbit/s. Web pages come up in a flash.

“We rely heavily on the internet, especially when we’re planning event routes. If two of our researchers were online at the same time with the old broadband connection, it would stretch our bandwidth to the limit. So much so that if someone else wanted to send an email with attachments, they would have to wait.

“Our fibre-enabled service is like a breath of fresh air by comparison. Everyone in the office can do what they need to do online. And they can do it exactly when they need to, without interrupting anyone else.

They can even work from home in exactly the same way as they do in the office, courtesy of a secure connection to their PC back at base.” Superfast Business is also looking to establish a network of IT suppliers and consultants across the region that can support the service. Interested parties are asked to get in touch at www.ccbusiness.co.uk3.

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References

  1. ^ www.ccbusiness.co.uk (www.ccbusiness.co.uk)
  2. ^ www.ccbusiness.co.uk (www.ccbusiness.co.uk)
  3. ^ www.ccbusiness.co.uk (www.ccbusiness.co.uk)
  4. ^ Report this article as inappropriate (www.aboutmyarea.co.uk)
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