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Precisely how the internet works is not something I have given a huge amount of thought to. I might have spent a moment amazed that twenty-first century children will never hear the legendary dialling tone and if push comes to shove I suppose I’ve been shocked at how quickly we seem to have got this infrastructure in place but beyond that – not a lot. The internet is something piped into my home and office allowing me to send emails, buy train tickets and re-watch an entire series of Downton Abbey in one weekend, which just goes to show how quickly we have adapted to the age of information. We may be just a couple of decades into this bold new age we generally take the clever cables connecting us to the world-wide-web entirely for granted.
For businesses currently operating in the Castle Quarter area of Cardiff however the internet is in no way such a guaranteed luxury. The increasingly dense business population in the area coupled with old infrastructure has meant that businesses from solicitors to vintage stores, PR agencies to coffee shops are currently struggling along with speeds far too low to service the needs of a modern enterprise. For most small businesses paying for a direct line into their premises at the cost of several hundred pounds a month is far outside the realms of possibility and so over recent months many small businesses have been struggling on often returning home to upload photographs and generally banging their heads against their desks.
The problem is that BT, the organisation charged with maintaining and developing the broadband infrastructure nationwide are not under any obligation to provide upgrades simply because an area has seen an increase in traffic. This has meant that many businesses have been pushed to the brink of leaving the area and potentially the city for good and so Cardiff BID have stepped in to help fund an upgrade bringing the historic Castle Quarter into the ultra-modern superfast age. The investment of £44,000 is one of the first major projects that the newly formed business improvement district has committed to but local businesses can expect to see over £7.5 million of investment in Cardiff over the coming five years meaning that many more bonuses for businesses are in the pipeline.
Sadly the upgrade to superfast broadband can only happen at a terrestrial speed and there is some significant work to be done. With the BT team now working on the project business can expect to see their shiny new fast speeds, and potentially reduced costs, to have arrived by this time next year but in the meantime make sure to keep your eyes peeled for additional project from the Cardiff BID delivering better business prospects to Cardiff city centre.
If your business is located in the Castle Quarter and you have questions about the scheme you can view the FAQ sheet here or get in touch with a BT Superfast Advisor on 03000 603 000