Ultrafast broadband saves Doncaster tutition centre from the final bell
A Doncaster-based tuition business, which was facing possible closure or relocation, is now future proofed and looking to graduate to bigger and better things after the company connected up to ultrafast fibre broadband, thanks to the Superfast South Yorkshire programme.
Kip McGrath, a tuition centre for both children and adult learners, says ultrafast broadband has helped to completely transform the business – but, most importantly, enabled them to keep their doors open to the hundreds of learners they support every year.
Keith Sheppard, owner of the Doncaster North Kip McGrath franchise, set up the business in 2004. He said: “The situation with our broadband connection was getting desperate. We’d tried everything from normal fixed broadband to 4G, but nothing was providing speeds adequate to support the systems we needed to use.
“It was getting to the point where continuing simply wasn’t feasible and nine jobs were at risk. In desperation I contacted Doncaster Council who put me in touch with Superfast South Yorkshire. When they told me ultrafast broadband had recently gone live in our area I couldn’t believe it. It has quite literally saved the business.”
As part of the Superfast South Yorkshire roll-out, engineers working for Openreach, the business responsible for Britain’s largest phone and broadband network, have made Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, capable of delivering ultrafast broadband speeds of up to one gigabit per second (Gbps), available to around 100 Doncaster homes and businesses – with more to follow. A further 11,700 premises can access superfast broadband speeds of up to 80Mbps as a result of the programme.
Keith added: “Having ultrafast broadband has given the business a new lease of life. We can now start to investigate the possibility of our learners having remote access to our homework programme via our in-house portal.
Our cloud-based systems now run without buffering or dropping out and our new enhanced software programs have enhanced functionality, so we can offer a better service to our learners. Since the internet is now instantaneous our tutors can also search and download a much wider range of resources.”
Natalie Ward, programme manager for Superfast South Yorkshire, commented: “This is a real-life example of broadband technology securing the future of one of our local businesses, which provides vital education services for many young people from across South Yorkshire.
“It is situations like this that really emphasise how important technology is for business and for our local economy. It is no longer a ‘nice to have’ it is a ‘must have’ and I’d encourage anyone who can to place an order with their chosen service provider and take advantage of the benefits”.
Derek Richardson, Openreach programme director in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible for households and businesses. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people do business and interact online.
“Time and time again I hear about businesses reaping the benefits of upgrading to superfast and ultrafast broadband.Each story reinforces how important it is for us to continue improving broadband speeds as widely as possible across South Yorkshire.”
Around 480,000households and businesses have access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of Superfast South Yorkshire and Openreach’s own commercial fibre broadband programme.
All of the engineering work is being carried out by Openreach and 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.
Superfast South Yorkshire was formed in September 2014 as local authorities joined forces with BT Group in a £22 million deal to extend the availability of high-speed, fibre broadband. A further £4.8 million in additional funding has been secured which will extend the reach of fibre broadband to 99 per cent of South Yorkshire. The project is jointly funded by Sheffield City Region LEP, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund and BT Group.
For further information on the Superfast South Yorkshire programme visit http://www.superfastsouthyorkshire.co.uk