Five Blackpool guest houses were the first to benefit from a transformational full fibre network that network operator ITS is building out reusing existing infrastructure, including the core network which is being constructed along the tramway using Â£3.1m funding from the governmentâ€™s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) scheme, known as Fibre Blackpool.
Having found themselves left out of the Superfast Lancashire upgrade, the guest houses have finally put their super slow broadband behind them, swapping it for 100Mbps full fibre services delivered by ITS partner, voice and data provider Network Connect.
The Arthington, By the Seaside, Beverley, Strathdon and Nestor Hotels on St Chadâ€™s Road found themselves overlooked because their telephone lines were connected to a different telephone cabinet than the rest of the street. The B&B owners joined forces with Claire Smith from Stay Blackpool, who lobbied hard, pursuing many lines of enquiry to try and ensure inclusion, but made little progress.
It was a chance meeting between Claire and the councilâ€™s Head of ICT, Tony Doyle (because of the councilâ€™s involvement in Fibre Blackpool) that resulted in the guest house owners contacting ITS and Network Connect and finally putting their broadband woes to bed.
Stephen Fazakerley, proprietor of The Arthington Hotel, said: â€œWhen we found ourselves left out of the Superfast Lancashire upgrade we were frustrated. Being able to offer our guests fast reliable WiFi is really important â€“ â€˜whatâ€™s the WiFi code?â€™ is normally one of the first things we are asked! Being connected to ITSâ€™ full fibre network and getting a speedy 100Mbps broadband service from Network Connect has literally changed our lives. It has helped us to differentiate ourselves, as for example, as well as a guaranteed ultrafast WiFi connection, we have installed an Amazon Echo device in each of our guest rooms and are introducing Smart TVs.â€
Lisa Harding, Business Development Manager, ITS said: â€œThese full fibre connections are really important for these local businesses because they want to be competitive and offer services that their guests have come to expect and rely on. True full fibre connections deliver a really reliable, high speed service that wonâ€™t have to be ripped out when the old copper network is switched off. It is an enabler that will underpin business connectivity needs, and the regeneration and developments that are planned for Blackpool and the Fylde Coast now and in the future.â€
Ryan Heys, Sales Director, Network Connect said: â€œThere is no greater pleasure than being able to provide a full fibre service to a business and know that it will quite literally transform their experience and give them capabilities that will allow them to add value to their business in a multitude of ways. In the case of these guest houses they had found themselves being more and more disadvantaged and a digital gulf starting to emerge between them and their neighbours. Along with the full fibre connections, we have deployed a high capacity building-wide WiFi infrastructure ensuring guests can get on line from anywhere within the hotel. Voice over IP phones have also been installed, reducing the costs of other services.â€