Case Study: Northallerton Equestrian Centre

A leading equestrian centre in North Yorkshire says superfast broadband has revolutionised its business.

The family-owned Northallerton Equestrian Centre, located near the rural village of Yafforth in Lower Swaledale, at the heart of Herriot country, is affiliated with British Dressage, British Eventing and the British Showjumping. However, Proprietor Tina Walker said she had been feeling frustrated and neglected by internet service providers for years:

“We could just about send emails and look at the website. We struggled to do the most basic things, which are essential to running a business in this day and age. Uploading to the website was painfully slow, downloading pictures or video was slow and intermittent. We also struggled to take card payments. And there was no way we could use a smart TV. Social media was also hit and miss. We had to either use a mobile phone or use a dongle to get any kind of signal.

“We felt particularly isolated during the first lockdown because zoom meetings and team meet ups were impossible. In fact, one previous provider explained how trees had grown taller since their installation and so the signal had been blocked.”

When Quickline took over the centre’s contract they discovered a ‘black fibre’ connection down the lane and, by using 5th generation technology, they were able to link to that, install a mast on the centre’s land and provide them with superfast broadband for the very first time, delivering speeds of over 350Mb.

It meant that during the 2nd lockdown people could ride and the centre could livestream dressage, showjumping and eventing competitions when no spectators were allowed on site because of Covid restrictions. This was something they couldn’t have entertained previously.

Tina said:

“We are a busy equestrian competition centre and when things buffer all the time it’s a nightmare. As part of our Affiliation agreements with sporting governing bodies we need to do so much online and we were constantly having to print and back things up because otherwise we would lose everything. For instance, it is compulsory to live score during events and we struggled to do that before. Now, with Quickline, it’s a breeze and it’s so much less stressful. You even see people watching the results go up live on their phone.

“You really don’t know what you haven’t had until you’ve got it! All our competitors can jump on the wifi now, children can do their homework in the cafe while their siblings are riding. First aid and other training courses we need to do can also be accessed easily online. Previously we had to physically go to a venue to do the training, so it cuts down on time and travelling too. Meanwhile, all the meetings with governing bodies are on zoom now, we couldn’t have done any of those, unless we travelled somewhere else and used someone else’s wi-fi!

“Just having fast, reliable connectivity makes our lives so much easier. It’s seamless and it finally means we can run a business that is fit for the 21st century. Whatever we want to do, it works! Looking ahead, it also opens up future business opportunities for us. It’s such an exciting time and we are so thankful to Quickline for taking the time to understand what we needed and delivering beyond our expectations.”

Hayley Silvester, Quickline’s customer liaison, said:

“This is a perfect example of how Quickline works with our customers in order to get the best possible outcome for them. Rural North Yorkshire has been neglected by other service providers for far too long and that’s why we, as part of Connected Yorkshire, in partnership with NY Net and North Yorkshire County Council, are determined to connect forgotten communities with superfast broadband and ensure that no-one is left behind.”