Thursday, April 14, 2016

News: Internet Bliss for Rotherham village

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Local tech entrepreneur, Chris Foulstone, has shown his initiative and brought the entire Rotherham village of Treeton up to speed by creating its very own internet service provider (ISP).

Following the collapse of Digital Region in 2014, web developer Chris realised it could be many years before Treeton received the high speed internet connections promised by the project and was left with no other option but to relocate his business – sharing office space with Holbrook-based HA Hosting, which operates a data centre in the city.

During the time Chris spent working at the data centre, he began researching alternatives and following discussions with the owners, he realised it may be possible to give all residents and businesses in Treeton a chance to access superfast broadband for the first time.

Drawing on his technical expertise and knowledge, Chris pioneered an idea to bring the superfast broadband speeds enjoyed in many areas of South Yorkshire to Treeton. The idea was a simple one: build a direct link from the data centre, which could be shared wirelessly, allowing the superfast broadband speeds to be achieved.

For the past twelve months Chris has spent time developing his idea. He has invested profits from his web development company into building a new mast in Treeton, which connects to the data centre and following a successful trial, he has launched Bliss Internet.

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Available exclusively to residents and businesses living in Treeton, Bliss has already secured 250 customers, a figure which is growing by approximately ten new users each week.

When Digital Region was switched off, Treeton and many other small villages went from having speeds in excess of 40mbps to below 2mbps overnight. The result of Chris' innovative work has seen broadband speeds increase tenfold for Treeton residents and if the venture proves to be a success, Chris believes the service could be rolled out to other remote areas where superfast broadband connections can't currently be accessed.

To provide additional stability to the new network, Chris and HA Hosting have also successfully installed a dedicated fibre optic line in Treeton, which provides additional stability to the growing network.

Chris Foulstone, founder, Bliss Internet said: "Superfast broadband speeds are something which many of us take for granted, but in areas which aren't connected it can often be a very frustrating experience. The slow speeds were impacting on my own business and it meant that it was virtually impossible to work from Treeton.

"When I temporarily relocated my business to HA Hosting, I realised that with a little technical expertise and a bit of imagination, the problems could be solved and everyone in the community would benefit.

"The result is a genuine first which has not only meant that I'm able to continue running my business in Treeton, but we've created a solution where everyone in the village benefits. The solution we've developed is something which could be replicated in other areas which aren't connected to the UK's superfast broadband network and delivered at a fraction of the cost of upgrading the existing phone network."

Rory Delahoyde, director at HA Hosting, added: "Chris and his team have put in a tremendous amount of work over the last year or so to make this work for the people of Treeton. They have overcome many obstacles to provide a reliable, fast internet service to their customers. It is great to see more and more people from Treeton adopting the Bliss Internet Service."

Bliss Internet website
HA Hosting website
Impelling website

Images: Impelling / Bliss Internet

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