Holiday Cottage @ Tamar Valley, Devon
Dianne Verlaine runs a holiday cottage business with her husband in the Tamar Valley. They responded to the survey because their business is severely hampered by a slow and unreliable broadband service.
Dianne used to be an IT project manager before setting up her Devon business and knows what she needs to make the business work. She says: “we rely on the internet for online queries, bookings and availability. Around 50% of our guests come from Europe and whilst they’re here they want to be able to keep in touch with family and friends at home, check their travel itineraries online, and if the weather is bad, maybe download a film to watch. Unfortunately, that would take about three days here, as at best we seem to get speeds of 1.2Mbps. If we’re online after 2pm, everything runs at a snail’s pace and it’s impossible to do any business at all. The service is also often down – we’ve been without broadband for three days before the service provider even acknowledged there was a problem. A good broadband service is vital to any business today, especially rural ones like ours. For us it’s also about providing our guests with a service they expect, and have come to take for granted in their home countries. My husband currently works in London Monday to Friday and would like to work from home a couple of days per week but this is impossible due to the poor response times during the afternoon.”