Norwich businesses join forces to boost internet connection speeds

Karl Alderton Managing Director Comms Supply

Karl Alderton Managing Director Comms Supply - Credit: Archant

Joined-up thinking between companies on an edge-of-city business estate has led to faster access to the internet.

A number of businesses on Meridian Business Park, to the east of Norwich, were struggling to access the broadband speeds they needed to run their businesses effectively, relying on copper wires for their connectivity.

For the entire park, which is home to about 30 businesses, to be upgraded to a fibre connection, it would have cost about £18,000.

At a meeting held to discuss the issue, Karl Alderton, managing director of Comms Supply, an EDP Future50 business based on the site, offered to share their fibre connection with other companies. About eight firms have taken up the offer.

Mr Alderton said: 'Due to the nature of our business we have invested in a dedicated fibre connection to our building, rather than relying on a contended broadband solution as many organisations do.

'Whilst a number of other businesses on Meridian Park have their own leased lines, the majority were relying on fairly standard broadband packages and not able to achieve the download and upload speeds they needed. We have worked out a way to share our own fibre connection with other buildings on the business park via wireless technology.

'By installing a series of aerials across the business park, and positioning them in exactly the right place, we have secured a wireless connection which provides other businesses with access to the same broadband speeds that we are achieving.' He added: 'On small business estates like ours where the investment is not coming from BT or Better Broadband for Norfolk, the only option is for businesses to get together to have improved connectivity at a cost they can accept.'

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Peter Callaghan, from Barter Hill Partnership, one of the businesses on the estate which has joined Comms Supply's connection, said they are now benefiting from increased internet speed. 'We have been tenants on Meridian Business Park for nine years now but as our internal IT systems have become more sophisticated, there was a lack of commercial fibre quality broadband available to the park,' he said.

'We operate on several sites and, as the need for data sharing between offices increased, upload speed became more important than download speed.

'The solution that Comms Supply devised is quicker and half the cost of our previous broadband solution which is a great result for us, and our neighbours on the park.'