City Lifeline helps RedRaw deliver high speed Internet service
Through working with City Lifeline, RedRaw has enabled a London bank to link with its offices in Malta and rescued a Lancashire football club’s merchandise store, in just two working days. Together, they have also enabled British racing car company, Group Lotus, to communicate globally with its international offices. NCN’s Russell Drury finds out more.
RedRaw Internet was formed in 1998 to bring the Internet to rural areas across the UK that traditional wired telephony operators did not deem cost effective – although the same services’ service in towns proved to be extremely popular and competitive.
RedRaw built its ISP network from the ground up, using Extreme Networks switching and Juniper routing in the core and Amazing Wireless technologies at the periphery.
Users of RedRaw’s services include Group Lotus, the British racing car company at Hethel in Norfolk. Utilising non-line of sight technology from Devon, RedRaw built a 14km microwave link to a fibre network in Norwich overlaying a layer 2 service right through to Proton (the ultimate owners of Lotus) in Malaysia. Garry Beale, RedRaw’s managing director, said, ‘We provided a global link which connected separate offices so that they can seamlessly connect and talk to each other and keep each other updated.’
RedRaw came to the rescue of a Premier League football club in Lancashire. As Garry explained, ‘The club’s football store opened in the local town, selling its popular range of branded merchandise in store and online and a fibre link was delivered 18 months late so another non-line of sight microwave saved the day and kept the shop open. They asked us to help. We had them up and running in two days!’
A London bank customer had an urgent requirement to link from its London offices to Malta. Again, this was achieved in just two working days. Garry identified the problem many organisations face when upgrading their links in London and other UK major cities. ‘In central London you can usually wait anything from one to six months for cable connections to be installed this particular one took nearly two years. We can offer a fast fix for companies that simply can’t afford to wait that long.’
It is not just the business sector that benefits from RedRaw’s services, as Garry explained, ‘We have many residential users who want and demand a powerful link to the world at large. When a village has one of our networks, someone needs to look after it and we usually find someone IT savvy in or nearby to become our local techie, supported by experts from our NOC, in effect, servicing the community. This not only creates a real personal service for the users but also helps develop a stronger community spirit. It really is a win/win for us all.’
RedRaw provides powerful fast erection mobile masts for special situations. The company will be providing temporary connectivity for a series of open air concerts around the UK – a truly fast, flexible mobile Internet connectivity solution.
The City Lifeline wired and wireless connection
As the company grew, RedRaw looked for a colocation partner to house its technologically advanced services. In 2007, RedRaw chose City Lifeline. Garry explained why, ‘We were recommended by a friend and when we went to initially visit the data centre, we saw their central London location was the ideal spot for our roof microwave dishes. We took rack space and all the connections we needed were already in place so we really had the perfect City set up for our own and our clients unique requirements.’
RedRaw has now been with City Lifeline five years. Garry went on to explain why he is happy to continue the relationship, ‘City Lifeline have been very good and our time with them has been totally trouble free. They have good, experienced people and are always open to discussing ways of helping us improve our services,’ he continued. ‘The company are very easy to work with and we have full visibility of all their staff. It’s simple to work with them to get things done quickly. I can pick up the phone to the managing director at any time which is both reassuring and extremely useful.’
City Lifeline provides a highly reliable professional environment for mission critical communication. Garry summed it up by saying, ‘City Lifeline understand the communication industries, they have an impressive colocation client base with service level requirements similar to ourselves.
‘They offer extremely robust ISP and carrier connectivity from a very secure site right in the heart of central London. As our business grows, we are confident that they will continue to offer all the service, connectivity and power that we are ever likely to need.’