Point Lynas Lighthouse
Industry Sector: Leisure
Location: Anglesey, North Wales
Services: Superfast Fixed Wireless Broadband, VoIP
Robin Beckmann had been struggling for years with poor internet connectivity and speed.
Robin and his wife Iona own Point Lynas Lighthouse on the north coast of Anglesey, where they live with their two children Anna and Edward. As is our speciality, we secured a superfast broadband connection for his family, despite their rural location. Here is Robin’s story.
Prior to this service what was your internet connection like?
We had been with our previous supplier for years. They gave us an average internet speed of 0.5mbps, which was just completely unusable for things like streaming films and music. We used to lose our connection to the internet with the old supplier, which you can understand if it happens occasionally, but it happened often.
What was the switchover between providers like?
When I explored the options for improving our internet speed, I found out that I could get a grant through the Access Broadband Cymru (ABC) scheme for installation – so that was a huge help.
The service provided during the switch was great. The installation was easy and we had a lot of communication from everyone involved, keeping us completely up-to-date throughout the process.
How much has your internet speed improved since your new broadband installation?
Our internet connectivity and speed is phenomenal. It’s forty times faster, really reliable and cheaper than our previous supplier. At the moment, our speed is 20mbps.
We’ve actually just had another installation, this time fitting a wi-fi extender. It was equally well managed, and now we have high-speed internet access in both of our lighthouse cottages.
As an entrepreneur that manages your business from home, how did poor connectivity limit the way your business operated before the switch?
Managing our website was impossible, and sending files to people via email was really difficult. I used to have to break up whatever I wanted to send into smaller files.
When I tried to send larger emails, I’d get notifications popping up on screen to say that I had been timed about. Sometimes my undeliverable emails would bounce back to me half an hour after being sent, which was incredibly frustrating.
I couldn’t get photos out to people, which was also incredibly annoying. If I wanted to send them online, I had to reduce the image size and definition, which meant that the image quality decreased. I ended up putting images onto CDs and posting them to my contacts instead. It’s hard to believe but this was just a couple of years ago and it was the easiest way to do it at the time!
Has your new internet service had a big impact on your work and home life?
Yes, it’s been great. Even things you take for granted like online booking processes are now so much faster. Now I can order things and book tickets instantaneously, whereas before the transaction took ages, sometimes causing the webpages to time out.
I don’t have to plan a day ahead with my TV downloads any more as well! Before, I’d go on Apple TV, look for a film that I wanted to download then watch it the next day because it took so long to complete. Now, I can choose a film online and download it within five minutes in HD.
You have also had VoIP (voice over internet phone) installed. Did you struggle a lot before with your phone line as well as your internet speed?
We really struggled with our old phone. The reason behind opting for VoIP was twofold. Firstly, our traditional phone line had become extremely expensive to run and was poor value for money in terms of what we were provided with.
Secondly, as our broadband speed from Xwavia (now ITS Technology Group) is phenomenally faster to our previous provider, we felt that we would be in good hands if we asked the team to install VoIP for us as well. I was aware of the capabilities of VoIP as I had used it before at work, so I had a lot of confidence in installing it in our home.
The running cost of VoIP is considerably cheaper than what we were previously paying. We still pay line rental and a small cost per call, but because it operates via the internet the overall cost is negligible. We live very far from the nearest telephone exchange, and the old copper telephone wire was susceptible to damp. If it rained heavily, our phone would cut out, which, with our poor internet connection and wavering mobile phone signal, left us with no means of communication.
When it rains now (which is often where we live!) the new microwave cables are able to resist the adverse weather conditions. This means that we retain our phone line and internet connection, regardless of the weather, and can make and receive calls as and when needed. There have been times in the past when we were without means of communication for over a week, which was a real nuisance. Now we have this broadband and VoIP service, I have every confidence that we won’t be left stranded like that again.
Finally, how would you sum up your experiences as an ITS (formerly Xwavia) customer?
We’ve been delighted with our broadband and VoIP provider. They’ve been absolutely fantastic and their work has enabled us to stay connected to everyone else, whatever the weather.