Henry Diaper & Co Ltd (Diapers)
Industry Sector: Freight and Logistics
Location: Knowsley, Merseyside
Services: Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to the Premise
Diapers Finally gets Access to Superfast Broadband
Many businesses locating to purpose built business parks find that their broadband access isn’t adequate to support their needs. This was certainly the case for Diapers, a logistics, warehousing, distribution and freight forwarding business based on Knowsley Industrial Park in the Northwest of England.
With 32 employees dependent on access to the internet, bandwidth was important to Diapers to ensure it could get on with business as usual. However, though Diapers had a broadband connection, the lack of broadband infrastructure in and around the Industrial Park, coupled with the distance from the exchange, meant that the service was poor. The team at Diapers found they had very low bandwidth as well as intermittent loss of service almost on a daily basis; a frequency that had become untenable.
Ageing Infrastructure not Fit for Purpose
Diapers was not alone, as many of the businesses on Knowsley Industrial Park had been putting up and making do with a 2Mbps service. This was because the Industrial Park’s infrastructure had not been upgraded for decades, and was in fact mainly aluminium wire designed simply for voice calls as a public switched telephone network (PSTN).
Aluminium was commonly used when copper prices increased, and is a poor substitute as it has inferior conductivity, is more brittle, subject to corrosion and has poor thermal performance which means it is more prone to expansion and contraction. This ultimately results in many more issues and faults, even compared to copper. For Knowsley Industrial Park’s residents, this ultimately meant it wasn’t reliable, let alone capable of supporting modern applications or of delivering scalable superfast broadband services.
With BT’s rollout still being some time away, and with most providers being reliant on BT’s infrastructure to deliver services, it was Knowsley Chamber of Commerce that made the introduction to ITS Technology Group as a possible solution to Diapers’ broadband challenge.
ITS Delivers Against the Odds
ITS had recently built a wireless network that was designed to provide reliable, superfast fixed wireless (FWA) broadband which can deliver up to 100Mbps and therefore transform Diapers’ digital capabilities. For this reason, Diapers signed up for a connection that would deliver 30Mbps upload and 5Mbps download speeds.
However, it became apparent fairly early into the contract that the speeds weren’t living up to those expected. This was because ITS was in the process of upgrading the backhaul to the Industrial Park. This had presented a number of construction and engineering challenges as it required permissions from various third parties, and also a number of wayleaves and site shares to be agreed. As the wireless broadband service relies on ‘line of sight’ to the masts, ITS also needed to negotiate trees and other tall structures, which it has managed successfully.
ITS’ persistence to build a fibre link solely for its customers, and Diapers’ patience while these challenges have been overcome, has ensured consistent speeds, even at peak times. It has also futureproofed the infrastructure to be able to scale as other businesses take up services. The network now supports more than 100 customers, and rising, who have taken up broadband and managed services such as cloud telephony.
Liz McDonough, Systems Analyst at Henry Diaper & Co. Ltd said: “In the early days, the service simply didn’t deliver on its promise and the downtime was frustrating. ITS worked with us to attempt to rectify it but the throttling of the speeds continued. At this point, ITS gave us a dedicated account manager who worked with our IT team and also kept us up to date on the progress of the backhaul.
“We are glad we stuck with the project, as the high speed connectivity is now consistent at around 36Mbps up and down stream – speeds which are beyond our expectations. As we now have confidence in the service, we are looking to host our own Internet Ordering System, something that is currently outsourced.”