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Oxford Film and TV

About Oxford Film and TV

Oxford Film and TV is an independent TV production company, based in Camden. Commissioned by organisations including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, HBO and Discovery, Oxford Film and TV produces a wide range of documentaries and drama from Simon Sharma and David Starkey history programmes to Kings of Black Comedy and Alan Davies’ Teenage Revolution.

With a permanent staff of 16, Oxford relies heavily on freelance specialists to boost the team during production phases. At times the office hosts more than 40 people, with others working remotely from home.

The Challenge

In 2014, Oxford Film and TV was due to move office, something that had been on the radar for two years. The company found a new location with seven months still in hand for the significant internal renovation required, and Production Manager Marisa Erftemeijer took on the management of the relocation project. She comments:

“We were advised by our Chartered Surveyor to start the process of getting our required Fibre line installed immediately. He warned us it can be very slow but BT advised us that it should be installed within three months. Well, three months came and went and there was no sign of the Fibre installation happening anytime soon.”

Oxford made the decision to postpone its move for a month. The company relied upon its internet connection to regularly send big media files (3-4GB on average) to clients for review – sometimes around 10 large files a day. The internet connectivity was going to be even more crucial in the new office than the old, as the company was also going to be using a VoIP service from Opus Networks, and it was simply not possible to plan to move the team without connectivity.

Erftemeijer continues, “Opus contacted BT on our behalf to try to find out where things had got to, but as we reached just a week until our rescheduled moving date we urgently needed a Plan B. We had to move out of our old office, but we had to go to somewhere with connectivity so we could continue to work.” 

The Approach

Erftemeijer and the team at Opus Networks began to look into all the options available to Oxford Film and TV. A temporary office would be incredibly costly, cause a lot of disruption – both to staff morale and clients – and double the moving costs. It was not going to be a popular suggestion. 

Getting satellite broadband installed was one option but Erftemeijer was concerned that the technology could be adversely affected by the weather and it was November – with snow forecast. Opus suggested other alternatives to Fibre, including Luminet’s Network in the Sky.  

“I contacted Andrew at Luminet at about 5.30pm, probably with a discernible note of panic in my voice!” confesses Erftemeijer. “He was great but also honest about his own concerns that we were potentially going to be too far away to help. He explained that the fixed wireless technology needs a direct line-of-sight connection from the rooftop and it would all depend on what tall buildings were between the base station and our new office.”

Two days later, once the landlord had granted access to the roof, the Luminet team was on site to survey the possibilities. Luminet’s engineers found an ideal spot just clear of the building in front to provide direct line-of-sight. Having run a few distance tests, Luminet was able to provide a quote and service offer for Luminet Wireless Lite (previously known as Fibre-Air) that very evening.

The Results

With three days to go until moving-in day, Luminet arrived at Oxford Film and TV’s new office to install the fixed wireless kit on the roof and get the 100Mbps Luminet Wireless Lite service live. With the network up and running, Opus Networks made the necessary adaptations to its service and the backup line was added to the infrastructure. 

Erftemeijer comments, “I confess I got a bit nervous at one point because everyone went very quiet, but the three systems were up and running by the end of that day and immediately worked seamlessly.”

Oxford Film and TV had not known for how long they would need to rely upon Luminet’s network as its Fibre line installation was still looking uncertain. In the end, the company used the connection for just over a month before the new Fibre line was ready to take over.

Erftemeijer again, “Luminet was so flexible, in a way I guess larger suppliers cannot be. The people I dealt with were able to make decisions on the spot and they were incredibly tolerant of the fact that I didn’t actually know how long we would need the service. In the end I think we even slightly overran our month subscription because of a last minute Fibre issue, but I never felt like I had a gun to my head and they were happy to do whatever we needed to get out of our scrape.” 

As for user feedback on the whole episode, Erftemeijer is matter of fact; “To be honest, I don’t think anyone noticed when we switched over to the Fibre. When it came down to it, the Luminet connection had been marginally faster anyway so by the time our much-promised high speed network arrived there was no fanfare and user expectations were already set.”

Erftemeijer concludes, “I would absolutely recommend Luminet, in fact I already have – as, I understand, so too has our Chartered Surveyor and Opus! They got us out of a huge bind, as well as taking a lot of pain out of a very stressful episode. Occasionally we need to rent additional offices for short term periods on large productions so, I’m sure, Luminet will certainly get another call from us the next time we do that. I am also very interested in the possibilities for using the network for outside broadcast instead of satellite broadband as it is about ten times more reliable. I shall be interested to talk more with Luminet about that one!”

Summary of key benefits:

  • 100Mbps Fibre replacement via Luminet’s Network in the Sky installed within a week
  • Flexibility in contract terms to provide seamless interim solution
  • 10 times more reliable than satellite broadband

About Luminet

Luminet is on a mission to help businesses Rise Above with London’s Network in the Sky by embracing the fast, busy, thriving side of London and the opportunities it presents by providing excellent connectivity.

Luminet is a managed services provider, offering businesses Connectivity and Cloud Computing services. Luminet has a peer-to-peer relationship with its customers and superb customer satisfaction ratings. Combining a true customer-centric organisation with strong values, culture and capability together with technical excellence and best-value makes Luminet a partner of choice for business, supported by industry-leading SLAs, and ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications.

Awards and Accreditations