Superfast Broadband Case Study: The Academy of Floral Art
The Academy of Floral Art is a unique training establishment in Floristry and Flower Arranging, based in Dunchideock, Exeter. Set up in July 2008, the academy prides itself on “providing excellence with passion and integrity” in the art of floristry, and caters to both professional development and recreational enjoyment.
The academy relies heavily on the internet, ranging from answering enquiries on their website to uploading videos to YouTube, so when their broadband connection was boosted by Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) they saw a big change to their day-to-day life. CDS is aiming to bring superfast broadband to up to 90% of homes and businesses around Devon and Somerset by 2016.
Before the Exeter business had superfast broadband, they found even the smallest of tasks difficult. Information from researching would take a long time to download, and drop-outs were a daily occurrence when more than one student was using the internet; also affecting the office above the studios.
Julie Collins, Principal of The Academy of Floral Art, now prefers to work at the academy than from home because the broadband has improved so much. “The new broadband speed has reduced stress and has made the academy look a lot more professional. It also speeds up multi-usage tasks hugely, so office work can be carried out at the same time as class work”.
For the students working on their floral art, the new broadband has meant that sharing their work and producing a portfolio has become a lot easier. Ms Collins added: “Photos are now uploaded to the academy’s shared Dropbox files whilst in class, meaning that the students have a gallery of their work before they have even left for the day. Previously, uploading large volumes of data was extremely difficult, and the students would struggle to share their work online”.
In the past year, the business has grown massively, with superfast broadband helping along the way. A team has now been set up to specifically monitor and improve their social media, so for them to be able to quickly upload and publish information and photos is incredibly important in order to keep the company current. This means that the general community broadband boost around Exeter is also helping, as it is useful to have a fast connection when out and about to make sure everything on the company is kept up-to-date.
Commenting on the community improvement, Julie said: “The business community at Dunchideock feels really privileged to have superfast broadband as it makes our lovely rural location a very desirable place to work”.
Julie is looking forward to expanding the academy further now that CDS has hugely improved their broadband speed. The company cannot wait to see how much their new social media opportunities will enhance their business.