Barnsley IT company gets Cannon Hall Farm online

A Barnsley IT company has helped a busy farmyard visitor attraction get high speed WiFi through a specialist rooftop installation.

Praxsoft, who are based at the Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC), has installed a device on top of its own offices at BBIC that beams a ‘line of sight’ radio transmission across to Cannon Hall Farm five miles away.

From there, an identical transmitter device on the roof of the farm receives the signal and provides the farm and its surroundings with high-speed WiFi.

The installation means Cannon Hall Farm, which had generally poor reception and internet coverage, now has a high speed internet connection available for free for all its visitors.

Families can now access the internet much easier, keep in touch and post images of their day-out on social media networks and so on. And the farm is even looking to use the stronger connection to live stream the birth of lambs and piglets on their website in future.

Praxsoft and Cannon Hall Farm have been supported to deliver this initiative by BBIC through the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which is funded by Barnsley Council.

Managing director of Praxsoft, Andy Chesterton, said: “When we first came up with the idea we didn’t think it would be possible.

“The logistics of getting a line of sight connection from BBIC at Wilthorpe in Barnsley to Cannon Hall Farm in Cawthorne seemed impossible. Both dishes have to be pointed directly at each other, and there’s a matter of millimetres in it.

“It’s been very much a three way project between us, Cannon Hall Farm and BBIC who allowed us to put the transmitter on the roof of the office complex. We couldn’t have done it without everyone involved.”

Robert Nicholson, owner of Cannon Hall Farm, said: “The issue with our internet connectivity has long been a problem and has always been something that we’ve looked to rectify.

“Thanks to the help from Praxsoft and BBIC, we can now supply a high speed internet connection for our thousands of families who visit us all year round.

“We know they appreciate this service and we’ve seen marked increase in traffic on both our Facebook and Twitter accounts since the installation.”

Praxsoft, which set-up in 1996, currently employs seven and has an eighth member of staff joining in the New Year. It specialises in both remote and on-site IT support, as well as the creation of bespoke software packages.

The company, which has worked with Cannon Hall Farm for many years, has also been given marketing support by BBIC. Praxsoft has seen year on year growth with turnover set to be up by 10 to 15 per cent this year.

Kevin Steel, Enterprising Barnsley’s business development manager at BBIC, said: “It’s great to see a specialist Barnsley IT business and a popular Barnsley visitor attraction working together to create an ingenious way to get thousands of visitors online.”

The rooftop installation atop of BBIC

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