Tracey Toner runs a small artisan company, The Lush Larder, from her Cladymore home. The mother of two said internet issues linked to her “very isolated location” in a small, rural village made daily life “extremely stressful” during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the support of Hyperfast NI has helped the Co Armagh businesswoman, who handmakes jams and chutneys from seasonal, locally sourced fruit and vegetables, turn everything around.
“I need access to social media platforms every day to run my business,” said Tracey. “But with two teenagers also attending online lessons at the same time during lockdown it was impossible. Back then, we had to tether remotely off a mobile phone service provider with unlimited data. Yet, sometimes, the children still couldn’t attend online classes simultaneously because of our very slow internet. I also found it time-consuming and laborious when it came to uploading business-related material to my social media pages, while attending Zoom meetings was virtually impossible.”
Tracey said her son, a keen gamer, was “extremely frustrated” with the internet service. “His only means of social interaction with friends during the pandemic was gaming and it wasn’t an enjoyable experience because of our slow internet,” she said. “When the Fibrus representative promised good upload and download speeds, I signed up immediately – and I haven’t looked back.”
Tracey can now have “multiple devices streaming at peak times during homework time”. The difference has been incredible,” she said. My children can research their homework projects, Facetime and game online with friends, and they can watch Netflix and Disney Plus without streaming lags. I can now easily upload posts and stories to social media, attend Zoom meetings and participate in online mentoring and training programmes.”
In addition, Tracey launched a website and an online shop “with confidence”, knowing she could “efficiently communicate with customers, dispatch orders, organise deliveries and arrange postage via online services”.
Her customer experience was “very positive from beginning to end”. “Sign-up was simple,” she said. “I was kept well-informed of progress from then until installation, which was quick and very tidy. When I needed a pole installed on my land to take a service cable overhead, I was consulted to make sure I was happy with all planned works.”
She added: “I have absolutely no hesitation recommending Hyperfast NI and Fibrus to family, friends and fellow business owners.”