Tell us a little about your company and some examples of the conservation work you do:
Swift Ecology is a small company that delivers ecological surveys and advice to a variety of clients. including developers, local authorities, non-profit organisations and householders.
We help clients address ecological constraints on development and other projects, and we also conduct research for conservation purposes. An example of a recent project was our work on plans for the Kidderminster Link Road, where we carried out surveys for birds, bats, badger, otter, water vole and reptiles along a river and canal corridor. We identified a newly excavated badger sett at the 11th hour directly in the way of imminent site clearance and construction. A sett exclusion licence was quickly obtained; this allowed safe closure of the sett without harm to the badgers, thus avoiding unnecessary and expensive delay of the project.
A large proportion of our work centres around bats and over the years we have helped with numerous projects where developments might affect bats, as well as getting involved in bat conservation work.
Members of our team are active in voluntary conservation projects involving protected species such as dormice, bats, pine marten and great crested newt. We are very passionate about our work.
What are the main ways you use your internet connection?
“We are a small business that employs seven people who all work from home. We rely on cloud services such as ‘dropbox’ so that all our files are in one place and readily accessible to all. Because of the nature of our work a lot of the files we store and share are photographs (which can be quite large file sizes) and we also have very large numbers (many thousands) of smaller sound files.
“We need to access online resources to obtain technical data needed to do the job. Also, one of our services is accessed directly from our website where there is a form to download and payment made via Paypal. Thus a reliable and secure connection is vital.”
“We have very many shared files and documents, including reports that have to be reviewed by someone other than the author before issue, and therefore documents need to be updated quickly to avoid delays and issues with conflicted copies. We utilise a lot of web-based resources and so a fast connection is essential. Also, I’m a vice-president of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, in which position I have to conduct numerous web-based meetings. Again, this relies on stable connectivity”
What do you like best about IDNet?
“Exceptional personal service sums it up. When you call or email you get to talk to the same person you spoke to last time, and moreover someone who actually knows what they are talking about, rather than some automaton in a call centre. They also provide you with much more detail about the technical aspects and timing of what is going on rather than hiding behind being beholden to Openreach.”
Have you had any bad experiences with ISPs in the past?
“Yes! I could spend hours on this, but years of problems with one of the large ISPs from billing mistakes to technical issues; I switched to another large provider due to their good reviews but I then had various problems with them also; among other things they randomly cut off my head office phone and internet on the first day of my holiday, meaning that for a full two weeks the voicemail message I had left for clients giving them alternative contact details was not working, thus potentially losing us business. Following issues with my broadband they then refused to honour the fibre contract due to the fact that I am some distance from the box – that is, the exact same distance from the box that I was when they set up my fibre contract in the first place! They then kept sending me bills even after I’d closed the account.”
Would you recommend IDNet?
“Absolutely, without hesitation. Although….. on second thoughts I might keep it secret so you don’t ever change and become oversubscribed and unresponsive like the bigger ISPs.”