In an example of what expanding full-fibre gigabit networks to previously hard-to-reach places can do for small businesses, Bath-based full-fibre network provider Truespeed has transformed the business potential of Yeo Valley.
The family-owned farm and dairy business claims to be Britain’s largest organic dairy brand, established in 1994. The Yeo Valley Organic range includes organic yogurt, cream, milk, butter, cheese, ice cream and compote and is said to be the 14th biggest-selling online grocery brand in the UK.
The company, located in Somerset, is owned by the Mead family and has two organic farms and its own herd of British Friesian cows. It was voted the UK’s favourite organic brand by Good Housekeeping readers in the 2020 Food Awards.
With a dedicated Truespeed fibre-optic connection to its remote locations, Yeo Valley no longer has to rely on slow, unreliable copper (ADSL) phone lines for its broadband. The dairy brand now has guaranteed symmetrical upload/download speeds of 250Mbps and the reliability and bandwidth required to run a modern business.
Operating from multiple rural locations in the South-West, it now benefits from gigabit-capable connectivity at six sites, including its dairy farms, headquarters, and a garden tearoom which is open to visitors to its organic garden. Four more sites are due to come on-stream over the next few months.
With Yeo Valley choosing Truespeed and granting access to existing ducting on its land for the network build, it has also accelerated the delivery to neighbouring communities that were previously stuck in the digital slow lane.
The Truespeed network provides the full-fibre connectivity needed by staff to remotely monitor and manage milk production and feeds at the dairy farms, enjoy glitch-free video meetings, and run massive data backups in a timely fashion. Also, visitors to the Yeo Valley Organic Garden and adjoining tearoom can now benefit from great internet connectivity while “admiring the flowers and sampling the cakes”, said the company.
The Truespeed service has also made it possible for the first time to set up a wide area network (WAN) and connect the six local area networks (LANs) for more streamlined IT operations.
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Future plans include connecting new CCTV cameras at the two farms to the Truespeed network to allow the monitoring of livestock, and providing ultra-fast internet access to members of the public visiting the Yeo Valley Organic Garden.
“The Truespeed full-fibre service has made a huge difference to Yeo Valley,” said Anthony Roper, IT manager at Yeo Valley. “Before the switch, we were forever struggling with slow, unreliable broadband, but now we have guaranteed symmetrical upload/download speeds of 250Mbps. This means we can get on with running our business instead of having to deal with regular broadband dropouts.”
Truespeed CEO Evan Wienburg said: “Connecting the best of this country’s rural businesses like Yeo Valley to our state-of-the-art broadband service underlines the importance of our full-fibre roll-out. With our dedicated fibre-optic connection, businesses and households have the opportunity to not just level up their broadband, but to benefit from one of the fastest, most reliable services available in the UK today.”
The deployment at Yeo Valley is the latest in a series of fibre roll-outs by Truespeed in its home region. In February 2021, after a prolonged period of bringing gigabit connectivity to places such as Somerset, including the city of Wells where it provided full-fibre using innovative means, Truespeed started rolling out a gigabit-capable network in its home city of Bath.
In parallel, the firm is expanding its footprint into neighbouring areas of Somerset, including Keynsham, Saltford and South Widcombe. The build in Wells began in earnest in June 2020, and Truespeed has now passed more than 3,000 premises.