Expansion plans could be in the pipeline for a Rutland business, which sells fine foods throughout the UK – thanks to the arrival of superfast fibre broadband.
Rutland Charcuterie, set up in 2014 by local businessman Nick Brake as a specialist producer of salamis and air dried meats, is expected to be “transformed” by the new technology.
The company, based in the village of Braunston, can now benefit from download speeds of up to 80Mbps thanks to the multi-million pound Digital Rutland partnership between Rutland County Council, BT, and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK).
Nick said:“We’re incredibly excited about the opportunities that come with fibre broadband. It’s going to transform the way we operate and how we’re viewed by our customers.
“TheInternet is crucial to our business in so many ways. In this day and age you simply cannot operate without it – it’s the basis of all forms of communication and an essential marketing tool. Most of all it allows us to sell direct to the consumer via our online shop.
“We set up Rutland Charcuterie because we’re passionate about locally produced fine foods. We currently sell direct to customers at farmers’ markets and food shows, as well as supplying restaurants and delis. We also have an online shop and we’re turning to digital media more and more as a way to grow our business and put Charcuterie on the map in Britain.
“The internet speeds in Braunston were previously a real source of frustration. It wasn’t so noticeable when we launched a couple of years ago, but now that everything depends upon it in much larger volumes we’ve been tearing our hair out when things crash or take too long online.”
The Digital Rutland partnership has already made fibre broadband available to more than 9,500 homes and businesses in the county.
And latest government figures show that more than 44 per cent of properties in Rutland have already signed up to fibre broadband, higher than any other county in the UK.
As part of this hugely successful project, around 200 properties in Braunston can now access superfast broadband after BT installed a brand new fibre-enabled roadside broadband cabinet.
The engineering work was carried out by Openreach, BT’s local network business, which means residents and businesses can order fibre broadband products from a wide range of internet service providers, with speeds up to 80Mbps widely available.
Councillor Tony Mathias, Deputy Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Digital Rutland has already connected thousands of homes and businesses to fibre broadband, meaning people can enjoy the benefits associated with faster upload and download speeds. There's still a lot more to come from the project though, with additional areas and villages set to be connected in the coming months.”
Areas set to benefit from the latest phase of the Digital Rutland project include the villages of Barleythorpe, Bisbrooke and Pickworth. Other villages that should be enabled within the next year are Barnsdale, Burley, Egleton, Gunthorpe, Little Casterton, Pilton, Ridlington, Ryhall, Tickencote, Tinwell, Tolethorpe and Wardley.
Paul Bimson, BT’s regional partnerships director for the East Midlands, said: “It’s great to see how businesses in some of our most rural areas are using fibre broadband. Rutland Charcuterie in Braunston is a great example of how the technology can enable a business to compete on a level playing field with competitors based in more urban areas.”
For more information about Digital Rutland and how to sign up for fibre broadband, please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/digitalrutland.