Foxhall Solutions have completed the first phase to provide residents living in Almshouse flats at Eaglegate, on East Hill in Colchester with an ICT solution to reduce their social isolation using broadband and telephone services.
In September 2021, the ‘Lady D’Arcy with Fynches and Berryfield Cottages Almshouse Charity‘ accepted a joint proposal from Foxhall Solutions and the Colchester-Amphora Group, to provide Gigabit fibre broadband and VoIP phone services for 28 flats at their Eaglegate, Exeter Drive and Berryfield Cottages Almshouse estates.
Almshouse residents are generally older people, on low incomes and in most cases, on their own. Foxhall’s objective and proposal was to reduce their social isolation by providing a fast, reliable and flexible low-cost network structure to give each flat access to Gigabit speed Internet through a Wi-Fi router – and to provide a DECT cordless VoIP phone (also using the Internet), all for a monthly rental less than a single BT line!
Colchester-Amphora arranged the provision of a fibre-broadband service into the site and contracted Octopus Cabling to splice fibres & create a network in the loft-space of the two blocks at the Eaglegate estate. A fibre-optic cable drops into each flat and connects to a Ubiquiti airCube AC router, providing a unique WiFi service for each resident’s mobile phone, tablet & smart-speaker – and a convenient point to attach the VoIP cordless base-station and a Smart TV.
Foxhall Solutions installed a Yeastar S100 IP-PBX phone system specifically for Lady D’Arcy residents at the Colchester-Amphora data centre in Colchester. This expandable platform supports a mixture of [remote] DECT cordless and desk phone extensions for each resident, providing SIP Trunk services and a communal pre-pay tariff plan that covers calls to UK landline and mobile numbers. Due to the ‘PBX’ nature of the system supporting these phones, any Lady D’Arcy resident can call any other using a 4-digit extension number, making it easy to keep in touch with neighbours.
The ‘open’ and powerful nature of the system solution also allows our colleagues at Tendring DC Careline, to install personal-safety services such as monitored smoke detectors and ‘Careline’ personal alert units to support vulnerable adults. The nature of the solution provided allows integration of ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) technology and smart-phone app’s that have been coming to market since this project was first discussed back in 2018.
By making broadband affordable for Lady D’Arcy residents, Foxhall & Amphora have reduced their isolation and provided a way for them to keep in touch with neighbours, friends and family – as well as Medical, Social and Support services. They can do this using their phones, tablets and Internet-connected devices – and we have also provided solid low-latency connections to entertainment services on TV’s, and to local/national radio through e.g. Amazon Echo smart-speaker devices.
We look forward to rolling out these same services to Lady D’Arcy residents in the Exeter Drive and Berryfield Cottages estates over the next two months.
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