Fast broadband speeds are helping a long-established Ammanford socks and knitwear company to seamlessly reach customers around the globe, thanks to Superfast Cymru.
During a visit to Corgi Hosiery today, Minister for Skills and Science Julie James heard how the arrival of superfast broadband has played a vital role in helping the company develop its worldwide exports.
Originally established in 1892 as a sock maker for local miners in the area, Corgi now has a reputation as the go-to luxury sock brand with its customers including the Royal Family.
Since connecting to superfast broadband, Corgi’s ecommerce business has really taken off making it a significant exporter, with new major distributors in South Korea, China, Japan and Australia.
The superfast connection has seen the company’s website www.corgisocks.com, and internet retail business flourish. Corgi is now able to diagnose and resolve faults in factory machinery remotely, as soon as they occur. Staff can also speak face to face with client distributors around the world without having to leave the comfort of their own office in South Wales.
Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James said:
“It’s been great to see the positive effect superfast broadband has had on Corgi Hosiery.
“Superfast Cymru is making a real difference in delivering superfast broadband infrastructure throughout Wales, enabling businesses which choose to access the technology to deliver a better quality service and succeed in a global market. Corgi is a great example of this.
“Across Wales over 645,000 premises can now access superfast broadband thanks to the programme, and many more will be added before the end of the year. Thanks to Superfast Cymru, Wales has the best availability of superfast broadband among the devolved nations, with more than eight out of ten premises with access.”
Corgi’s joint managing director, Chris Jones, said:
“As soon as the fibre broadband rollout programme came within reach of our premises, we signed up, and we haven’t looked back.
“Having access to better connections is helping our company grow and improve our efficiency. We had identified the potential for increasing trade in global markets via our e-commerce business. But we knew we needed faster and more reliable connections to attract, interact and support new international clients and provide them with the highest quality of customer service and care.
“Fibre broadband has helped transform the way we run our business and we’re much more efficient now. Our orders, invoices, accounts and stock control system are always available, so our staff can access what they need whenever they need it.”
Ed Hunt, Superfast Cymru programme director for Openreach, said:
“High-speed connectivity is having an enormous impact on the way we work, live, learn and play.
“Engineers from Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group are working hard to roll-out superfast broadband across Carmarthenshire and Wales as quickly as possible and it’s fantastic to see a company like Corgi embracing this new technology and reaping the benefits.
“Thousands of homes and businesses in Carmarthenshire can do the same as Corgi and connect to their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider, and we’d encourage local people to check out their options.
“It’s a highly competitive market, so people could potentially be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service. Once you’ve made the switch to superfast, like the team at Corgi, we’re confident you’ll never look back.”
Superfast Cymru is the partnership between the Welsh Government, BT, UK Government and European Regional Development Fund, bringing faster broadband to areas which would otherwise not receive it.
The Welsh Government also runs the Access Broadband Cymru scheme, which can offer assistance to those not able to access superfast broadband by providing grant aid to help them receive it through other technologies. Further details are available on www.gov.wales/broadband