“The speeds are so much better than what we used to have and to be honest, it is costing me less than I was paying before, as I shopped around for a good deal. As a small business, that’s very important.”
It was a case of out with the old and in with the new for Vaska Battley, owner of Cuxham village’s 16th century Half Moon Pub. Vaska was one of the first business owners in Cuxham to opt for an upgrade to superfast broadband and has been enjoying fibre broadband since August 2016.
Prior to the arrival of superfast broadband, when Vaska needed to process a payment transaction at the bar, she would need to go around the pub and ask customers to disconnect from Wi-Fi! This is no longer the case and free Wi-Fi is now a unique selling point.
Rural Oxfordshire is not short on pretty 16th century thatched pubs. The Half Moon Pub is exactly that - a quintessentially English thatched pub, parts of which date back to the early 16th century with old beams in the ceilings and traditional red and black floor tiling in places. The pub has been serving the local community for more than 200 years. Recently, the pub has had a rocky road with three tenant landlords leaving over a period of two years. The pub was at risk of closing before Vaska bought the business in August 2015.
Cuxham traditionally has been a commuter village with people travelling out of the village during the day to their places of work. With the arrival of superfast broadband, Cuxham residents can now work from home a couple of days a week, home businesses have started up and more people are around the village during the weekdays.
Vaska says, “Wi-Fi in the pub has made it a meeting place for people to come down with their laptop or mobile and sit with a pint, or a cup of coffee.”
So for Vaska, superfast broadband has greatly improved the experience for her customers, who are now able to use Skype and Netflix on their own devices. She is now planning to extend the use of the large sun trapped garden area at the back of the pub for dining and hopes this will increase footfall to her business.
Having fibre enables Vaska to meet the growing needs of customers of all ages, who depend so much on their devices these days, especially while they are out and about but staying true to the traditional roots of the pub. For younger visitors who are not yet hooked, there’s a toy corner in the pub stocked with more traditional play items to amuse them, while older family members can relax.