The Templand Group

25 years ago, trains could take you to London at around 100 miles per hour.

Wi-Fi wasn’t available on the journey but you might have had a Sony mobile phone which looked like a Mars bar, or a Nokia brick. And on your desk – maybe a modem allowing you to send and receive data at 56kb per second.

Today, offices and many homes can access data at 300Mb, over 5,000 times faster than 25 years ago. Our demands on data capacity have shot up too. We use 10,000 times as much data now. Trains would travel at over 9,000 miles every minute now if their speed had increased at the same rate of change.

Those figures could seem astonishingly abstract, but not to Dave Newton, Commercial Director at ITI Network Services. This telecommunications specialist is celebrating a special anniversary in 2020: the original business which now works with blue-chip multinational clients, alongside prestigious organisations in defence, sporting facilities, the public, education and private sectors was launched in 1995.

Newton joined what was IT Installations Ltd in 2007 to head up its wireless business unit and is one of the firm’s longest serving directors. Since then the business has undergone a management buyout, becoming part of The Templand Group of companies.

Did Dave ever have one of those Nokia bricks?

“Yes, and I still have a box of old mobiles from that era. They’re practically unbreakable and the battery life was exceptional.”

With this issue of unLTD focusing on business’ contribution to protecting the environment, we ask how the telecommunications industry has changed.

Dave says one of the biggest changes is how business is done. Fax machines were an office must-have in ’95: not anymore.

And, sadly, for many people a smartphone is more disposable today than the mobile of 25 years ago.

But it’s what you can do with all this data capacity and speed that really interests him.

“Firms can reduce the cost and impact of travel through high-quality video meetings. Technology has enabled businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, with some analysis showing virtual conferencing, teleworking and the Internet of Things will contribute to a 15 per cent reduction of other sectors’ emissions in 2020.

“ITI is undertaking Investors in the Environment (iiE),” Dave adds, “It’s good for businesses, and the right thing to do.”

The firm has grown dramatically since 25 years ago, and “will continue to grow sustainably,” says Dave. “Becoming part of a group structure has enabled us to serve customers better. Last year we acquired Newline Communications, so we can now deliver external civil engineering and fibre works. We’re continuing to seek opportunities for acquisitions to complement the group.

“We’re also looking to recruit to varying new roles in 2020. We’ll continue to recruit and support ex-forces personnel and Reservists – they’re adaptable and multi-dimensional.”

Another development is a move to a new office building. So an exciting year ahead and as Dave and colleagues prepare to celebrate that quarter century, one more question: how fast can data speeds get?

“5G is game-changing, but for many businesses and residents in rural areas, fibre broadband will have an even bigger impact. That will give access to data speeds available to cities and could free up travel time and reduce carbon footprints too.”