Sun Salads benefits from government broadband scheme

Simon Lawes, business owner of Sun Salads.

Caption: Simon Lawes, business owner of Sun Salads.

Business | Posted: Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 at 9:38 am | return to news

Dorset business first to benefit from the government’s gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Sun Salads, a family business based at Holwell in Dorset, has benefitted from the gigabit voucher scheme to help improve its broadband speed.

Simon Lawes, business owner of Sun Salads.

Caption: Simon Lawes, business owner of Sun Salads.

The company supplies watercress all year, from four farm locations in southern England and a winter farm in Spain.

For many years, broadband access has been a problem for Sun Salads. With an old copper wire connection at least a mile and a half away from the nearest exchange in the village, the business only ever enjoyed around 25 megabits per second.

With the business based across five locations and some staff working remotely, everyone relies on a shared drive to access company information.
As the business has grown in recent years, supplying supermarkets and the food service sector, it has had to keep up with numerous online customer ordering systems and with downloads often running overnight.

Business owner Simon Lawes said, “Sometimes in the afternoons, the broadband connections speeds were so low it became unworkable.”

Talking to local supplier, Wessex Internet when the gigabit voucher scheme was announced in March 2018, Simon was keen to apply for the £3,000 voucher to offset the cost of a full fibre connection. Installed a few weeks later, the improvement has already been dramatic.

Simon added, “We now enjoy reliable download speeds of up to 100Mbps and are basking in the glow of a much faster broadband connection. Orders from customers open instantly in a click and our multi-site operation has easy access to our shared information. We are an agricultural business so we’re not heavy media users but we are very dependent upon keeping up with our customers and the option to upgrade to faster speeds if, and when we need it, are vital for a growing business.”

Not only will Sun Salads benefit from the installation, Simon is applying for a residential voucher of £500 to take advantage of the passing fibre. Wessex Internet aims to connect up to five other businesses further along the cable.

Alice Evans of Wessex Internet said, “The news of Sun Salad’s upgrade means that other businesses and residents nearby have been encouraged to apply for vouchers and link up as well, bringing true gigabit broadband speeds to this remote Dorset area.”

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