Financial services business Colyer Associates has been saved from having to move out of its Allerston offices and is expanding its operation, thanks to the Superfast North Yorkshire project.
Wealth Manager Colyer Associates, led by Senior St James Place Partner Michael Colyer, had planned to move to a location with better connectivity because broadband speeds at its offices in the small village were so low.
But the arrival of high-speed fibre broadband has allowed the business, which has been in the village for seven years, to stay in its existing office and increase the team with two new staff positions.
Operations director Pam Colyer, said: “Without the arrival of superfast broadband we would have really struggled to have kept the business in this location and be able to expand now we have the IT capacity to accommodate further members of our team. It is questionable whether we would have the broadband capacity to support extra employees before having fibre.”
The firm, which provides wealth management advice for individuals and businesses, has saved many hours a week in lost productivity after signing up to a superfast service more than 30 times faster than the previous service. Pam said: “Virtually everything we do involves being online. There is a massive time- saving element from having fibre broadband. Previously, we would just have to wait patiently for documents to come through or download. If the team had software updates, then we would all end up waiting and doing some paperwork instead. It would throw everybody off what they were doing, which is not great for productivity. If we needed to attend a webinar for staff training it would have been virtually impossible – now it is not an issue.”
Faster broadband speeds have also enabled the firm to introduce more flexible working practices and improve interaction with customers.
“Having fibre has allowed us to move a lot of our operation into The Cloud so now people can have encrypted laptops and do the same work they’re doing in the office from home, if they need to,” said Pam.
Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “Colyer Associates are a great example of how our investment in superfast broadband is bringing tangible economic and social gains to people and businesses in North Yorkshire.”
Tom Keeney, BT’s regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, added: “High-speed broadband is breathing new life into rural communities. People can now move into rural areas to live and work instead of having to move away. It’s ideal for businesses like Colyer Associates which want the qualities of a rural life, but need good connection speeds to the world. Their employees can enjoy a great quality life and raise families so supporting local schools as well as the local shops and other businesses that are the backbone of rural communities. The whole community benefits.”
The multi-million pound partnership between North Yorkshire County Council and BT has already made the new technology available to more than182,000 homes and businesses across the county – and the number is continuing to grow.
All of the engineering work is being carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, but as the network is “open” it provides residents and businesses with access to fibre broadband via a wide range of internet service providers, offering the benefit of competitive pricing and products.
Following the completion of phase one of the roll-out in Spring 2015, work on the second phase is now well underway. By mid-2017 a further 15,000 households and businesses will be able to access high speed fibre broadband services.
Furthermore, North Yorkshire County Council has agreed funding of £20.5 million for phase three of its Superfast North Yorkshire programme that aims to take superfast coverage to up to 96 per cent of the county.Up to £12 million will come from the authority’s own funds, £7.3 million from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and £1 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This comes on top of the £34.5 million for phases one and two.
The Superfast North Yorkshire project was the first in the UK to deploy fibre broadband using funds from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme following the signing of a contract between North Yorkshire County Council and BT in July 2012. BT was chosen as the private sector partner in the project following an extensive selection process by the county council.
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.
Those with slower broadband speeds, who are not included in a plan for faster broadband, can visit www.communityfibre.bt.com to find how to help bring superfast broadband to their local area with BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships scheme.