The Scottish Government is committed to delivering 100 percent superfast broadband access across Scotland by 2021. By providing high-speed fibre connection to rural areas, Briskona is also fully committed to this aim and sees itself as a significant player in the market. Briskona is registered suppliers of the Gigabit and SBVS voucher schemes allowing delivery of ultrafast broadband solutions to homes and businesses everywhere. Briskona has exciting plans for expansion and recruitment and its tactic of locating in Stirling, taking advantage of its central location, great transport links and skilled workforce are all part of fulfilling its vision.
Briskona started out as a Forth Valley LEADER funded project in 2011 working with local authorities across Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire to bring superfast broadband to rural areas. In 9 short years the company has gone from strength to strength and now has over 60,000 loyal customers. The need to connect previously unconnected communities and to drive rural economies have both been key in the development of the company Briskona has become. The belief that households in rural areas should have the same opportunities as businesses and households in city centres, including high speed internet connections, lies at the heart of Briskona’s mission. The company uses fixed wireless access and fibre technology which means it’s less expensive for the end user than previously used satellite technology.
Jamie Parsons, co-owner, talks about the recent move and why Stirling is the right place for Briskona to meet its vision.
“Our business has grown over the years and having a central office suits our needs. Our main customer base covers most of Stirling with over 1,500 homes and businesses connected to our high-speed networks.
With the recently signed Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Regional Deal bringing investment to the Stirling area, I think that all businesses will be looking for how these kinds of economic drivers will help their growth aspirations, invest in training and create high value jobs for the local work force. It’s a great opportunity for an SME like Briskona.
Infrastructure is key! The more there is in place, the lower the cost will be for us, the provider. This is then passed on to the end user, our customers. Stirling has great Infrastructure, local suppliers, good transportation links and motorway access from all sides. In today's climate good public transport is critical. Stirling boasts some of the best links in the central belt. Its location, literally at the heart of Scotland, means easy connections to Perth, the National Park, Glasgow and Edinburgh and further much afield. This was an imperative in our decision to locate here. Our customers are in predominantly rural or semi-rural access and good connectivity is critical.”
“Our recent recruitment drive has indicated that there is a deeper pool of candidates working in customer service/technical and sales roles within the Stirling area. At the moment, most have to commute to cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh to find work. Our growth plans over the next 12 months will see more call centre operatives employed at our Stirling office to meet the demand and to utilise the modern apprenticeship schemes available to train staff from grass roots to engineering and technical support roles. We are currently recruiting engineering staff and customer service staff.”
Briskona has carried out 5 projects in collaboration with businesses, local communities, Forth Valley and Loch Lomond LEADER and Stirling Council over the last 12 months. With projects successfully delivered around the Lake of Menteith, in Kilbryde, around Keir, Carron Valley, Bannockburn house area and Blairdrummond. Briskona has been abled to service business customers with diverse interests including farming, tourism and events. Satisfied customers include Nick Nairn Cook School, Lochend Chalets, Blair Drummond Safari Park, Cardross Estate, Arnprior Farm, Touch Estate and Business Park and the Red Kite centre at Argaty as well as the communities and individuals that have in turn benefitted from better, faster connections and improved bandwidth.
Jamie has seen the potential of being a local company serving local businesses and communitie1s particularly those in the rural areas.
"Our communities are bandwidth hungry! Farming is no longer just about tractors, it’s about providing cameras to monitor animal welfare, tracking livestock movement and regulating animal feeds. Automated systems and this virtual way of working allows the farming community to continually innovate and improve and that has to be good for us all - and it brings down the carbon foot print at the same time. As well as business uses, we serve residential customers. With a huge proportion of the work force now working from home, Briskona’s superfast internet provision allows for flexible working. And let’s not forget how much we rely on the internet for our entertainment, with the use of streaming services sky rocketing over the last 6 months."
Providing local responses to local issues, Briskona is a very welcome addition to the innovative companies choosing to bring their products and services to Stirling’s thriving economy.