FOCUS Britain @ Newton Abbot, Devon
Would you spend four hours uploading a 15 minute film onto You Tube? Steven Draper does in fact, this is a regular task for Steven as part of the photography and video production business he runs from his home in Stokeinteignhead, Newton Abbott.
Steven is one of many small businesses in Devon and Somerset for whom superfast broadband can’t come quickly enough. His clients range from small businesses to large national corporations, but they all have one thing in common: they are paying for a fast and efficient service that meets their deadlines. Steven spends a significant amount of time uploading and downloading photos and films for his clients, and he currently has to battle slow broadband speeds on a daily basis which can dramatically affect his productivity.
Steven says, “I just about manage with our current broadband speed, but simple tasks can be complicated and time consuming and similar companies based in towns with faster connections can work more efficiently. If we had a better connection I would be able to take on more clients, this would mean more money and time to invest back into my business.”
Steven manages his projects by carrying out essential tasks such as updating software programmes, in the evenings when there is less local demand on broadband capacity. This is effective but not convenient and definitely not part of the work-life balance that Steven wants to maintain for his family.
Steven believes that the use of online media will continue to evolve at a rapid pace and that rapid data movement will become increasingly important for his business. “Things have changed beyond all recognition in the last few years and we are constantly seeing new developments and changes to our client services. Without a good broadband service we will not be able to maintain our competitiveness. I love living in a rural area and I don’t want to have to move to a city for a broadband service that meets my business needs.”
Online marketing is key to generating business and Steven agrees that better access to online and social media across Devon and Somerset will also mean potential customers are more likely to spend time looking at his portfolio of work online. “Slow download speeds mean that people get frustrated and give up waiting for pages to load or video clips to download. I can promote what I do online more easily if it’s easier for people to look at, regardless of where they are located.”
“Superfast broadband will dramatically improve the way I work with my clients and be a real boost to generating new business. It will help me do everything I do now faster and more efficiently. I can’t wait!”