The first question he is asked by businesses looking to locate to his serviced offices is ‘what’s the internet like?’.
“I basically run a hotel for small businesses,” says Les, who provides offices for dozens of growing companies at two city centre locations – Emily Street and West Dock Street. As well as water, heating, cleaning and a call answering service, One Business Village (OBV) also provides each resident company with KCOM’s ultrafast Lightstream broadband.
And with clients ranging from architect firms to mortgage brokers, electrical contractors, accountants and graphic designers the broadband has to be fast – and it has to be reliable.
Luckily, OBV’s Gigafast full fibre connection can handle uploading huge files, downloading complex reports and allow nearly 30 resident firms to carry out their daily work quickly and efficiently.
Les said: “When we started at West Dock Street in 2012 we had eight copper lines providing 8Mbps of broadband – so now to have a 900Mbps connection allowing all our businesses to operate online is something of a step up.
“The internet is essential now – there can’t be many businesses that don’t rely on it every day. It’s an essential utility in the same way that gas or electric is.
“I’ve got 20-odd firms here doing a lot of work online: architects uploading and downloading huge files, design firms running powerful, data-hungry software and it all works seamlessly with our Lightstream connection.
“The full fibre broadband is great for our clients. I think if you’re outside of Hull you don’t know what you’re missing – because you’d pay a fortune anywhere else in the country for something this good.”
Les, who is expanding into a further 14 offices at Emily Street this summer, recently took advantage of the Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme, which will pay up to £2,500 toward the cost of installing full fibre broadband. The £67m scheme still has funds available on a first-come first-serve basis with companies urged to join more than 800 Hull firms who have already benefitted from it.
Les said: “There’s no way we could start paying out large installation fees because then we’d have to pass on the cost to our customers – but doing the Gigabit Voucher Scheme meant we could save money and make life better for our clients at the same time. It’s a no-brainer really.
“The application process was quick and easy, the installation was painless and organised at a time to suit us. I’d definitely recommend doing it if you haven’t already.”
For more details about One Business Village visit https://obv.one