Digital media company pivots to online learning with schools after broadband boost

A digital media company which specialises in drone filming, video marketing and events ‘pivoted’ towards supporting schools with blended learning and teacher generated content after receiving a broadband boost.

Dumbarton-based Turkey Red Media secured an Openreach fibre broadband connection at their remote country house headquarters – allowing them to hook school teachers up online to their pupils during the COVID-19 lockdown, after their more regular work started to dwindle.

Since restrictions have been in place, they have worked with all state nurseries and primary schools across the West Dunbartonshire Council area and have filmed hundreds of lessons.

The company – whose diverse portfolio of work more typically included filming audience reactions in Edinburgh’s playhouses to collecting drone footage across the Highlands – has also seen increased demand for assistance to help relatives view funerals when physical attendance wasn’t possible.

Until recently connectivity had been a major barrier to growth for the company and would have prevented its ability to swiftly offer these new services. Due to the nature of the business, upload speeds (as opposed to download speeds) were a key concern.

Turkey Red Media is located in a historic building 22 miles from Glasgow city centre and is also outside of Dumbarton, some distance from local broadband infrastructure.

This meant that some files could take up to 24 hours to fully upload, creating an inevitable time lag, and a delay in delivery to clients and payment to Turkey Red.

In some instances, content had to be physically delivered via courier at considerable expense to the business and the environment. During the pandemic, this simply wouldn’t have been possible.

After upgrading to Openreach’s ultrafast full fibre network, which took just 48 hours and did not require an engineer visit to the premises, the company was able to remain in its historic home – Strathleven House. This eliminated the potential cost of a move into town, supported the local economy and allows Turkey Red to enjoy the heritage of their more rural location.

Full fibre has also reduced upload times for large video files dramatically, reducing time wastage and eliminating the need for the physical delivery of content. Brand new opportunities have arisen from the faster connection too. The company is now looking at providing ‘green screens’ for virtual conferences so it can offer a hybrid event capability to businesses across Scotland and beyond.

Craig Jump, Managing Director at Turkey Red Media, said: “Our improved broadband connection has been essential to our business’s resilience and flexibility during the Covid-19 restrictions. Given our positive experience, I would urge other organisations in the area to explore their fibre upgrade options. We’ve been fortunate in being able to adapt to current challenges, but the pandemic has underlined how important connectivity is, regardless of where you live and work.”

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s Partnership Director for Scotland, said: “Many broadband users across Scotland, whether in homes or businesses, may not realise the upgrade options available to them. Turkey Red Media’s story is a great example of the opportunities that better connectivity can unlock, in even the most challenging circumstances.”


Pictured: Online learning at Gartocharn Primary in West Dunbartonshire