FarGo Village is a shining example of what can be achieved when businesses work together.
The problem faced by FarGo Village, Coventry City’s latest retail development, was to find an affordable internet solution that was good enough to support the different needs of the individual businesses. Working in collaboration with each other and the landlord, Complex Development Properties, along with local internet providers HBT Communications and the Coventry CORE, the businesses at FarGo were able to find the perfect solution.
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The landlord, Complex Development Projects, brought the businesses together and with the support of HBT Communications, FarGo took the first steps towards finding a solution by making a joint application to Coventry City Council for the Government’s Connection Voucher scheme. (The Connection Voucher scheme is a Government initiative administered by Coventry City Council to encourage businesses to upgrade their internet connection. Businesses are awarded up to £3000 in a free grant). This application was the first time the Council’s had seen businesses working together in this way and a joint application such as this opens up opportunities across the city where there are several businesses operating from the same location, such as serviced offices or business parks. Each of the FarGo businesses was successfully awarded the grant which meant they could pool resources to bring the best possible technology into the village.
Another opportunity for FarGo to make the most of was the Coventry CORE network which feeds businesses in and around Coventry City Centre. This would give them access to an ultra-fast internet connection, the fastest possible internet connection available within the UK today.
HBT and the Coventry CORE worked closely with the team at FarGo, liaising with businesses to ensure a smooth and efficient installation. By December the village was on-line with the ultra-fast connection making an immediate and positive impact on all the businesses.
Astral Gypsy The Astral Gypsy Art Studio and Bookshop, run by Al and Maggie Davison, is one of the businesses that has benefitted from the new connection.
Maggie Davison explains “At our previous location the internet was very slow and we did not have access to wireless. Since HBT and the Coventry CORE have completed the install at FarGo village, life has become much easier.
We try and stock as many books as we can, but often customers ask us to source something for them. I need to run an on-line enquiry to help them. Previously this would take time and customers were reluctant to wait, which meant we lost a potential sale. Now I can answer these face to face enquiries quickly and customers are not kept waiting.”
Al Davison continues, “As an artist I need to upload large files to send my work to publishers around the world. The file sizes can be anywhere between 5 and 6MB and previously it would take anywhere between 20 minutes and a couple of hours to complete the upload, with the files often corrupted and needing to be re-sent. The file uploads now take a matter of seconds and I no longer have an issue with files getting corrupted. I also make short films and although they only run for 3 minutes, previously it could take anything up to 3 hours to load. Now I can upload my films to YouTube or Vimeo within minutes.
The Connection Voucher scheme has given us the ability to get the best technology we can. The ultra-fast connection has meant we save a lot of time, stop unnecessary time wasting and run our business more efficiently”
The Big Comfy Bookshop, owned by Michael Mc Entee, is another business that has come to rely on the ultra-fast The BigComfy Bookshopconnection to run his business.
Michael explains, “The ultra-fast internet connection has made running my bookshop a lot easier. Having a fast and reliable connection means I can use cloud based applications to run my accounting software and I have not needed to make any financial outlay for a cash register as I can also run my till through an on-line app from my tablet. This app syncs with both my accounts and the credit card reader, which makes keeping track of my business finances a much easier job.”
Michael continues, “I can do all this and stream music to the shop at the same time without any interruptions or delays. As a start-up business I also rely heavily on the internet for marketing the shop and the events that take place here. Again the reliability of the internet connection means I can do this easily and efficiently. I’d like to thank Coventry City Council, HBT Communications and the Coventry CORE for supporting us with our joint application and installing such a fantastic internet connection.”
To find out more about upgrading and to discover even more about the benefits of an ultra-fast connection, visit www.hbtcommunications.com/gofaster
FarGo Village is a shining example of business collaboration to achieve something which working as individuals would have been more difficult. Talking to the business owners today I have seen first-hand the difference a faster internet connection is making, whether it’s being able to take card payments more efficiently, answer customer enquiries, run faster downloads or carry out on-line marketing. The set up they have at FarGo allows them all to take advantage of the improved speeds in a way that’s best for their individual businesses.
There is reluctance within the Coventry business community to “don’t fix what’s not broken” when it comes to their internet connection, but there are missed opportunities by not upgrading. An upgrade opens up opportunities which as a city we need to be making the most of