Growing company forced to pay £30k to get broadband

Jerome Mayhew, MD of Go Ape
Jerome Mayhew, MD of Go Ape
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The boss of a company that has spent £30,000 on laying fibre optic cables fears poor rural broadband is holding back economic growth.

Jerome Mayhew, managing director of the expanding Go Ape high ropes adventure parks, said he believes superfast broadband should be seen by Government as an essential part of UK infrastructure.

“It’s very important to our national economy and, particularly to our rural economy,” he said. “It needs to be spread out much more rapidly that BT is doing at the moment.

“We need a national standard for roll out of superfast broadband so you don’t get economic distortions with business being funnelled into areas that have it.”

He said he felt Better Broadband for Suffolk did not have the answer for businesses because it aims for a minimum of only 2mbps. He believes Go Ape needs at least 30mbps.

Go Ape, which started in Norfolk, aims to expand by 20 per cent and create 100 new jobs with new venues in Battersea Park and Cumbria, and it had outgrown its Hargrave headquarters. They struggled with satellite broadband there and BT had quoted £107,000 to lay 3ml of fibre optic cable.

As Mr Mayhew and many of his staff live in Bury St Edmunds, they wanted to be near there but not on a business park and are paying £30,000 to lay fibre optic cables from the telephone exchange to their new offices at Fornham St Martin to give up to 100mbps.