Billionaire and H&M owner Stefan Persson has personally seen to it that the slow internet connection at his mansion in Wiltshire, UK, get fixed.
Persson made sure that his local villages surrounding his estate, Axford, Ramsbury and Stitchcombe, benefited too.
Persson and his staff dug a 3 kilometer trench to enable faster broadband access; a set-up that will be far cheaper and faster than would a private project by BT.
“We’re greatful for his and his staff’s help,” said one of the locals.
When the rich get impatient, things tend to happen fast.
This fact has come to the benefit of the inhabitants in Ramsbury and Axford, nearby the estate of billionaire, major owner and former CEO of H&M Stefan Persson.
Dissatisfied with an impossibly slow internet connection at his mansion, Persson mobilized his staff to dig a trench that ensures the town’s inhabitants can upgrade to state-of-the-art internet years ahead of schedule and for a bargain price.
“We’ve have a very slow connection at the moment,” said Parish Councilor Diann Barnett to the Telegraph, which first reported on Persson’s Wifi crusade.
The town’s slow connection – even cited as reason for people moving out of the township – came in Persson’s way of doing business.
Seeing that an upgrade by the cable companies was years away, Persson’s company, Ramsbury Estates, asked network company BT for a quote for speeding things up straight away: The BT job would have cost the township a stinging £170k (1,85 MSEK) , according to Barnett.
Through Ramsbury Estates, Persson then decided to roll up his sleeves, mobilize his own staff and take care of the infrastructure for the service of faster Wifi.
During two weeks, Persson’s staff dug a three kilometer long trench through the landscape to make way for new cables – something that reduced overall project costs by more than half.
Eventually, each household would only have to cough up £600 (6500 SEK) each.
“Without the Ramsbury estate we would never be here. Without their help we would never have been able to have broadband in this village,” said Axford resident Nick Swan to the Telegraph, adding that they would soon have “a faster scheme than the rest of the country.”
”He has always been a friendly benefactor for society and we’re greatful for his and his staff’s help,” said Diann Barnett to Dina Pengar, part of Swedish gossip site Expressen.
Persson is a well-known presence in the town, where he owns an award-winning pub, a restaurant, hotel, distillery and a brewery.
The work that remains for BT is to pull fiber cables from the nearby town of Aldbourne, which already boasts decent connection. Once completed by the end of March, 77 households in Axford and Stitchcombe will have internet on steroids, courtesy of a Swedish billionaire.
According to Forbes, Persson – who owns about 38 percent of the shares in H&M – has a net worth of US $16.7 billion, making him the 43rd richest person on the planet.