Frenchbeer Farm, Chagford, Dartmoor
Frenchbeer Farm is in the Dartmoor National Park near Chagford. It is farmed by Michael and Christine Malseed as part of the Duchy Estate.
The farm has been producing traditional Christmas turkeys for the last 30 years, alongside hill beef and lamb. It sells turkeys direct from the farm, straight to customers, or via farm shops and butchers across Devon.
The farm business and Christine’s business mentoring agency, Farm Angels, were hampered by slow and flaky broadband connections.
“We had speeds of less than 1 Mbps,” explains Christine. “Even opening up an email took forever. I used to have to go down to the village to the local pub and have coffee there and use their Wifi,” she says.
“We had tried to improve our internet with a satellite connection, which worked fairly well for the first few months but the service gradually declined.”
Michael and Christine were desperate for a robust and consistent broadband connection that would enable them to operate their business and home lives more efficiently.
Airband engineers were dispatched to do a survey at Frenchbeer Farm, and figure out exactly which point on the farm would pick up the strongest signal from the Airband wireless network, whilst also preserving the aesthetics of the property.
The access point on the main network was 1.9 miles from the farm. The survey engineers took photographs of the places that they thought would be the best locations to site the small Airband receiver that would need to connect to the access point on one of Airband’s transmitters.
Airband installation engineers then installed a Cambium radio at the best location on the property, using a standard wall bracket.
The radio was linked directly to a Cambium router, which means that the farm now has a great WiFi signal.
From initial order to installation the process took three weeks.
Following installation in April 2017, Frenchbeer Farm now has a download speed of 30Mbps and an upload speed of 9Mbps – which has completely transformed how Michael and Christine use the internet.
“From a business point of view, it just speeded everything up,” says Christine. “There are so many things we need to do online – things like auto-enrolment, and responding to emails – these things were almost impossible to do before.
“We order a lot online and when you are trying to sort out parts, you want to be able to have a good look at them and you don’t want it to take forever. Having a good connection saves time and stress, which is so important when you’re running your own business.
“Now that we have strong broadband we’ve been able to fully utilise our new Frenchbeer Farm website too – having a better connection means that we can respond more easily and we can take online payments.
“The whole thing is running a lot smoother and more efficiently.”
And because the Cambium radio receiver feeds straight into a Cambium router in the house, Airband is able to keep an eye on both the radio and the router in real-time using its sophisticated CnMaestro monitoring system, which means that any faults are quickly ironed out.
“From a personal point of view, we could never watch iPlayer, so it feels like a treat to be able to that!” she says.
And as well as being good news for Michael and Christine, the farm’s better broadband service is also good news for all of their customers – those plump succulent turkeys are getting ready for Christmas! Find out more about Frenchbeer Farm via their website www.frenchbeerfarm.co.uk.
Frenchbeer Farm has Airband’s Business 30 solution, which offers 30Mbps download, 5Mbps upload and 300 GB data.