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In a year when the Liverpool hospitality sector already felt so much pain from lockdowns, ever-changing government guidelines and a staffing crisis not experienced in modern times, a local broadband company became an unlikely saviour to dozens of bars that now also faced the challenge of being almost entirely broadband dependent for taking payments, orders and managing reservations.
“Lots of people in the sector were calling us after weekends when their broadband went down, saying it affected their tills, kitchen orders and security cameras and had cost them a fortune in lost business to ask how we could help”, explained Baltic Broadband founder, and Chartered Engineer, Matt Wilson “and when they’re tied into contracts for years, with support from their provider arriving 3 working days later, it was clear there needed to be a solution”.
Designed in-house by the engineers behind Liverpool’s largest independent Wireless broadband supplier, the team developed a portable device fitted into a rucksack that could act as a full service broadband connection, getting hospitality teams back online quickly and bringing service back to full capacity. The ‘Baltic Backpack’ was born.
Wilson is keen to point out that this is not merely a ‘fancy dongle’ adding “this piece of tech is a genuine engineering solution developed over months of trial and error. Sticking a SIM card into a bar and hoping the signal is strong enough to make everything work wasn’t what people wanted as all it takes is a busy night with loads of users on a network and you’re back to square one”.
Instead the team developed a unique product from their labs in Baltic Triangle that maximised and matched the potential of their own network with the capabilities of multiple cellular networks to create a highly available & resilient solution, ultimately prioritising uptime so customers’ most important devices stay connected at all times. One customer told the team that it had saved them over £15,000 in a single weekend “and that’s why we’re so proud to have helped out during such a tough time for the industry” added Wilson.
The Baltic Backpack has had plenty to do recently, supporting operations at Cream and Sound City alongside various bars and restaurants across the city. Ultimately the plan is to have multiple Baltic Backpacks available 24/7 for the hospitality sector so teams can focus on their guests rather than worrying about the broadband working. But at the minute it’s a first come, first served basis so anyone who thinks they may need some backup for the busy festive season should probably ask for some information sooner rather than later.
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