Published: 12:56, 07 May 2020
| Updated: 13:36, 07 May 2020
Business is booming for a high-speed broadband firm which has been hiring new workers during the coronavirus crisis.
Despite the gloomy outlook for much of the economy amid the ongoing lockdown, Kings Hill company Trooli has continued to expand as it rolls out its full-fibre network in communities across Kent.
With much economic activity moving online in the time of social distancing and increased working from home, it looks likely that demand for the business' speedy internet connections will continue to grow.
Meeting that demand means taking on new staff, and in the last six weeks around 15 new employees have started. More are likely to be hired in the coming months as the business expands further.
Pembury, Sissinghurst and Cranbrook are the latest areas in the west of the county to be hooked up to the network - and Trooli chief executive Andy Conibere hopes the expanding infrastructure will make Kent one of the best-connected areas in the entire country when it comes to high-speed internet.
"Slow internet speeds are a real cause of frustration in rural areas, particularly when so many people, as currently, are trying to work or study from home," he said.
"Once this latest extension to our network is complete people in Pembury, Sissinghurst and Cranbrook will be able to enjoy the benefits that come with being able to take advantage of a guaranteed, ultrafast broadband connection.
"It can revolutionise how companies do business and residents spend their leisure time."
Connecting homes and business requires engineers to hook up properties to an entirely new connection separate to existing phone lines, so the firm's installers - classed as key workers during the pandemic - have still been out working.
Thankfully, despite the sharing online of false theories about 5G and Covid-19, the workers have not faced any harassment when going about their business.
Since it was launched 18 months ago, the Kings Hill business has received backing worth €30 million from European funders and a recent further injection of £5 million from NatWest.
Its network is currently available in parts of mid, west and north-east Kent. In the next 30 months, the company aims to be accessible to 150,000 Kent homes and businesses, rising to 500,000 in five years.