The COVID crisis taught us many things about our priorities in life – and what ‘building back better’ means for a Wales that’s inclusive, connected and able to make the most of the opportunities that await us in the fourth industrial age including the sustainability benefits we stand to gain from a world with less commuting and more home / local co-working. The pandemic also saw the growth of a pioneering company with a vision to build the infrastructure and provide the digital services that will help make that prosperous Wales a reality – with a major investment in Spectrum promising a high quality new digital service to businesses, homes and communities across South Wales.
The team behind Spectrum includes Chief Marketing Officer Mari Stevens – whose award-winning career has included senior roles as Director of Marketing Visit Wales and Head of Marketing for both Dŵr Cymru and BBC Cymru Wales. We caught up with Mari to explore what brought her to Spectrum; and what difference this new enterprise will make to a diverse range of customers across our region ……
“Connecting my love of Wales, a background in utilities- and the opportunity to make a difference.”
“The opportunity to bring together my love of Wales, my background in utilities – and the chance to make a real difference to communities and business – was simply too tempting to turn down” explained Mari. “We’re on a mission to connect commercially viable, underserved communities with the high quality digital service they deserve, to say goodbye to poor broadband and high prices – and our initial phase one plan to connect 150,000 premises and create 140 new jobs is just the beginning of our drive to support Wales’ post-Covid recovery and make sure everyone in every community can enjoy all the benefits of the digital economy.”
“Making sure everyone in every community enjoys the benefits of a digital economy.”
Towns and villages in Monmouthshire, the Vale of Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire are expected to be the first to benefit from the company’s service, mirroring Mari’s passion for bringing sustainable prosperity and inclusive connectivity to everyone in Wales: “The pandemic has shown what’s possible in terms of remote and home-working – and the potential for start-ups and SMEs to compete on the national and international stage with larger enterprises and bigger brands, if they can enjoy a level digital playing field. So we are all about delivering the full fibre broadband that will support jobs wherever you live, rebalance opportunity; and ultimately build a more sustainable supply chain and more resilient economy. We’re already known for being a broadband innovator and as we grow, we’ll be working closely with the communities and customers we serve, to make sure they receive the very best service from an experienced management drawn from across the industry and local talent who has everyone’s best interests at heart.”
“The leading alternative broadband provider in Wales and beyond”
The investment by Infracapital at the height of the COVID crisis was a huge vote of confidence in the potential of the company to become the leading alternative broadband provider, in Wales and beyond: “We aim to become Wales’ biggest and best home-grown service provider, growing one customer and one community at a time, shaping our service to real needs and becoming part of the fabric of the future Welsh economy” says Mari.
“The Infracapital investment means we enjoy the support of a company at the very forefront of the European fibre sector – a team with significant experience in fibre roll-out across the UK and continental Europe. And we’re particularly proud of the fact that we’re making use of Welsh Government-owned ducts and trunk roads too. This type of win-win collaboration captures the real spirit of the company: an inclusive digital ambition that will make sure every community benefits from the fast, reliable and affordable broadband that’s so essential for building back better – bringing opportunity and prosperity within reach of everyone in our region – now and in the future.”
“Becoming part of the fabric of communities and everyday lives”
With a successful career built on shaping distinctive brand promises and imaginative marketing strategies, how does Mari see the Spectrum brand evolving? “There’s a change on the way” says Mari. “We want to become part of communities and everyday lives – and our brand development will reflect our love and passion for Wales’s future. It couldn’t be a more exciting time for me and the team – and hundreds and thousands of people and businesses across the region will hopefully soon become part of our story as it unfolds.”