No waste on internet service for recycling firm

23 Aug 2006

TechRec Ireland claims to be the first and only waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling and materials recovery facility in Ireland. It is 51pc owned by One 51 Ltd and developed using technology supplied by Immark AG of Switzerland.

Established about a year ago, the company needed to have a direct internet connection back to Switzerland so that the control room in its Parkwest, Dublin facility could be accessed by the engineer who designed the plant. It also uses the internet for sales, marketing and communications purposes.

When deciding which internet service provider to go with, commercial director Brendan Palmer (pictured) decided on Irish Broadband and hasn’t looked back.

“We moved into offices in Thomas Street, Dublin last June and I needed to get on the internet as fast as possible,” Palmer explains. “The box came around by courier, I put it on the windowsill, plugged it in and everything worked fine: it was good.”
Last November prompted another move for the company, this time to premises in Parkwest, but the relationship with Irish Broadband stayed put.

“In November of last year we bought a warehouse in Parkwest. Again I needed a fast solution for internet so this time we got the Breeze product, which means putting an aerial on the roof. I got it within six to 10 days,” Palmer remarks. He now uses a 2Mbps internet connection, with a contention ratio of 24:1.

When the company first set up in the Parkwest site, Palmer was able to get five people cyber-bound straight away. “At the time I hooked five people up straight away. We had some cabling but it wasn’t great so I put up a Wi-Fi router in the building, which I still use. We hooked up five people to it and had a few spares for when our engineers from Switzerland came over.”

Currently, TechRec uses a leased line straight back to headquarters for most things but Palmer still uses Irish Broadband for his personal laptop. The company also has another desktop PC connected using Irish Broadband so staff can have access to a separate internet connection rather than using the corporate one.

“If people want to use their hotmail account or something like that we don’t like them using it on the corporate connection,” says Palmer, thinking about the potential security issues.

“I’m also using it for a direct connection to our Swiss technology partners who have internet access to our control room here,” Palmer elaborates. “The plant is controlled by an automatic control room so the software engineer who designed the whole thing can access the control room from his office in Switzerland anytime he wants.”

Palmer is enthusiastic about the need for people in business to embrace broadband technology. “If you’re in business you simply cannot use a 66Kbps dial-up modem anymore. You have to have a broadband connection. “We do a lot of our sales work through our website. My website wouldn’t work on a 56Kbps connection because I’ve got Flash on it and that kind of stuff.”

Communications is another huge part of broadband’s must-have status, says Palmer. “Like anybody else, most of our work through it would be emails. For example, I recently did a tender where I had to send a 3MB document to somebody in A&L Goodbody’s; if you don’t have broadband that doesn’t happen.

“Because we’re a new business I’m sending out a lot of promotional material — photographs of the plant, photographs of materials we want to sell. You simply can’t do that without broadband. I don’t spend an awful lot of money on brochures; I just keep the website updated and tell people to go there,” he adds.

Working with Irish Broadband is, like their internet offering, a Breeze, says Palmer. “I’m very happy with it. It never fell down; it’s fast; it’s relatively cheap.”

He’s had few reasons to call their help desk but when he has a solution has been provided quickly. “I needed to phone the service when we were going to hook up the control room. We only had one ISP number; in reality we needed two. That was fixed fairly quickly. I got on, explained what my problem was and they just gave me some more ISP numbers. We use one for the control room and one for the laptop and the desktop here in the office.”

By Niall Byrne