Businesses that largely operate online or are frequently required to send large files digitally should no longer have to think twice before they consider opening shop in Salisbury.

The city could attract new companies as Openreach could make full fibre broadband available to more than 20,000 premises by April 2020, whereas in the past Salisbury’s slow internet speeds deterred them.

MD Strategic Infrastructure Development at Openreach Kim Mears said Fibre will enable businesses to grow, particularly those in need of fast speeds and reliability, and as a result drive productivity and economic growth.

Businesses say access to the Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) technology, the fastest available in the UK at speeds of up to 1Gbps, is a game changer.

Five years ago, local web design agency Webbed Feet directors Aaron Whiffin and Alex Hopson were looking for an office space on Castle Street but were forced to decide against it. The available internet speed was too slow, the business simply could not be run from there and is instead located at Barnack Business Park on Blakey Road where they have access to passable 70Mbps.

“Downloading and uploading things can take three days,” Aaron said.

“If the internet goes down, we can’t work, but  if we had the extra speed, we wouldn’t need to schedule evening transfers.”

“Any company of any size will want Fibre.”

Rich Lloyd, co-founder and director of game-based learning company Blueflame Digital, said fast and reliable connectivity is “critical” to his business.

“File sizes are getting increasingly bigger and these days, it’s not unusual to be sending files that are Gigabytes in size,” he said.

“Having the ability to send large files to our clients across the world, backed up by a reliable broadband connection is important. The longer it takes, more time is wasted.”

One such incident was when Blueflame worked with Arriva Trains Wales and had to send large files via USB through the post. It got stuck somewhere in between and a minor adjustment resulted in a two-week wait for Arriva.

With Fibre technology, those transfers should become almost seamless, it is claimed.

Pictured above: Louise Mackintosh, Poppy’s Picnic, Alex Hopson and Aaron Whiffin of Webbed Feet, Rich Lloyd and Dan Hatch of Blueflame and Openreach MD Kim Mears

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