DarkLight to illuminate Sunny Bank Mills

The fastest Internet technology in the world is being installed at the award-winning Sunny Bank Mills complex at Farsley in West Yorkshire.

John and William Gaunt, the joint managing directors of the historic mills, where YTV’s Emmerdale and Heartbeat were filmed, have hired Bradford-based Internet service provider Exa Networks to revolutionise their Internet service.

John Gaunt commented: “While Sunny Bank Mills is steeped in history, we are now home to many cutting edge new digital and hi-tech companies, who depend on a fast Internet service for the success of their businesses. It is our duty to provide that service for them.

“We were fortunate that Exa Networks are our near neighbours in Bradford. Exa has steadily built a reputation as an expert in its industry since it was founded 14 years ago and is now highly proficient at providing businesses with the most effective Internet services possible,” said Mr Gaunt.

Mark Cowgill of Exa explained: “We have developed ExaBGP, a network tool used by some of the largest  and best known companies in the world – and SurfProtect, a content filtering service used by thousands of schools and businesses every day.

“But we believe our latest product is our most exciting yet. DarkLight – a dark fibre connection capable of achieving speeds of over 1,000,000Mbps per connection. It is DarkLight which is being installed at Sunny Bank Mills.

“DarkLight has been made possible through our recent partnership with London-based digital infrastructure provider CityFibre. It has opened up a new world of digital possibilities for businesses in Yorkshire. This pure fibre connection is not limited by the traditional constraints of restricted bandwidth capacity or third party network infrastructure.

“As a result, a business will never have to install a new, higher capacity line, or assess if its connectivity technology is still suitable. Should they increase employee number, their use of cloud services or rich media, the size of their downloads, uploads, or anything at all, their connection can be adjusted within minutes to provide the bandwidth increase they need; on both a temporary or permanent basis.

Mark Cowgill added: “We’re really excited to be able to bring this truly world class internet service to Sunny Bank Mills and, indeed, to other businesses throughout the region. In the same way that broadband transformed what was achievable following dial-up, DarkLight can truly revolutionise what a company is capable of.”

Charles Wilson, director of the Leeds-based computer services and support company LDD Group, who are working with Exa at Sunny Bank Mills, explained: “This is a tremendous boost for Sunny Bank Mills as digital, media, financial and design companies will be attracted to the Mills as they are not restricted by bandwidth. Significantly, businesses now list internet connectivity in the top three factors in choosing where to locate.”

Sunny Bank Mills is one of the most famous and historic family-owned mills in Yorkshire and has been transformed into a 21st century business centre.

Situated in Town Street in the centre of Farsley, has been extensively renovated to provide quality space within an environment steeped in heritage for small and medium-sized businesses in West Yorkshire. Altogether 70 companies are now on site, creating 340 new and sustainable jobs.

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey commented: “I was pleased to have the opportunity to welcome this extra £1 billion in funding for high speed broadband in the House of Commons late last year.

“Spaces such as Sunny Bank Mills in Leeds act as a catalyst for economic growth in our region, and I am keen to ensure this continues with the help of the funding announced for better broadband.

“High speed broadband is central to the success of the digital and wider economy, and Leeds plays a major part in this. We need to keep banging the drum for Yorkshire and I would like to congratulate the team at Sunny Bank Mills for their hard work and creativity in turning this historic building into a thriving centre of business and culture,” said Mr Andrew.

Richard Bean of Richard Bean, of Leeds-based property consultants JLL, commented: “The refurbishment of Sunny Bank Mills is a complete triumph, a wonderful balance of cutting edge modern office space in an environment rich in history and heritage. The attention to detail is stunning and the mills now provide arguably the finest office space in the Leeds-Bradford corridor.”

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