Business park broadband issues

Rebecca Wynne of Albion Interactive Solutions despairs at the poor broadband speeds which are hampering the Peebles business.
Rebecca Wynne of Albion Interactive Solutions despairs at the poor broadband speeds which are hampering the Peebles business.

When Chris Ludwig and his business partner were looking for a base for their firm in 2012 they thought Peebles was the perfect spot.

However, Albion Interactive Solutions has been severely hampered by the lack of high speed broadband at one end of the Cavalry Park industrial estate.

The firm creates 3D images of products for customers across the UK, but the slow broadband means that for one day of imaging it can take two days to transfer the images for the intricate stitching process, carried out off-site.

Mr Ludwig said: “We had heard that BT Infinity was coming to Peebles in very short order and therefore we felt fairly secure to make the decision to take on the premises here.

“Unfortunately, we just happen to be at the wrong end of the business park – everyone up the other end gets BT Infinity.”

With an upload speed of just 600kb a minute, and any-thing between 20 and 200 2MB images to process for each product, the transfer is infuriatingly slow, and also slows up the firm’s internet for other uses.

Mr Ludwig added: “We are on cabinet number 13, and normally I don’t believe in unlucky numbers and so on, but in this case it does seem to be an unlucky one!

“We contacted David Mundell MP about it and as a result got a letter from someone fairly high up at BT in Scotland, but it basically said that it was ‘uneconomic’ for them to install Infinity in the cabinet at the minute.” 
He added: “The cabinet probably covers around one-third of the business park, but it also covers the new housing estate being built nearby, so how it can be uneconomical?

“I’m at a bit of a loss.”
The difficulties the company is experiencing has forced Mr Ludwig and business partner Paul Nicolson to consider their options.

“It is getting to the stage where we are going to have to speak to someone up the other end of the business park and see if we can rent a desk and line and run up there with a pen drive and send images from there,” Mr Ludwig said.

“But there is the potential for us to move. It would be a shame, because as a place to be based Peebles is a nice town.

“We have everything else here were want: goods get to us nicely, and there are efficient courier links and fairly good road links to Edinburgh. We have also got a nicely set up studio here and it would really be a wrench to move.”

Mr Ludwig added: “We had looked at basing ourselves in Livingston, and it would be a shame to have to move there just because of the broadband when we think we have very good potential for growth here.”

David Mundell’s office confirmed that the MP is in ‘direct contact’ with Brendan Dick, director of BT Scotland, in regards to the issue.

BT were asked to comment on the matter, but did not provide one before our deadline.