High Speed Connectivity coming to North Yorkshire

You may have seen in the news recently that MP Andrew Jones took a closer look at how installation of a £46 million full fibre network project is progressing across Knaresborough.

CityFibre is working to bring future-proof connections to households and businesses across Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon, forming part of their £4 billion Gigabit City investment Programme which will bring full fibre networks within reach of up to 8 million homes and businesses across the UK.

As communication specialists we partner with a range of fibre providers to maximise our coverage and this includes CityFibre.

Interested in giving your home or business broadband a boost? As a partner to this alternative fibre network we can help you discover how to register your interest as well as the important news of live dates.

Contact 0333 240 9100 or email for more information.

Bank Holiday Call Plan – Horizon

Use Call forward and Divert options to send calls to mobiles. Set up Voicemail to email alerts so you get copies of your Voicemail messages sent to your email for you to listen to where ever you need to. Use the Hunt Group schedule facility to plan your call plans in advanced.

Horizon Call Forward Hunt Group

Send calls to your mobile or home phone using the Hunt Group Call Forward options. Go to Call Groups>Hunt Group, click Edit next to the Hunt Group you wish to forward. To send calls directly to your Divert number, go to Advanced Settings and use the call forward option (make sure to hit Save whenever you make changes!).

To forward to another number after first ringing on your Horizon handsets go to Options and Use the Forward after x seconds option.

Voicemail to Email Hunt Group

Receive an email notification whenever someone leaves you a voicemail, including the date, time, callers number and a copy of the recording. Go to Call Groups>Hunt Group and click edit next to the number you wish to make changes to. Go to the Voicemail tab tick the box for ‘Notify me at this address’, type the address you wish the email to be sent to and click save.

Hunt Group Schedule

Add Christmas, Easter and other Bank Holidays into your call Schedule. Under Advanced settings, click Edit Next to Schedule, then click the plus sign next to Additional Routing.

Name your Schedule and click Create. On the Add Event screen give your event a name and specify the start and end dates (these are displayed in month/day format). If you untick the box marked All day event you can specify your start and end times.

Once you have set your date and time you can then click create. You can add further events (such as New Year) by clicking on Add event again. Once all your events are created, close the window. Finally click Save.

Not sure

Just email details of the dates, times and forward number to with the subject Bank Holiday Call Plan and we will set it up for you.


Predictions for 2021 and it’s all about speed

The Year Covid Hits 2020

Nobody could have anticipated the events of 2020 and the impact the pandemic would have on our everyday lives. Indeed, talk at the beginning of the year was all about our breakaway from the European Union. Then along came Covid and one thing is for sure that businesses in the main will not be going back to the working practices prior to March of last year.

The year of Covid has taught us a great deal about the kind of connectivity both companies and consumers will demand. To say lockdown proved just how much the UK needs high-capacity fibre is a bit of an understatement, moving forward. 

April 2020 and a change to working habits

From 23rd March, 20, lockdown one; if you can work from home, do so, was the Government’s instruction. Demand for solutions to enable this went through the roof and we were never busier in catering for the wants, needs and requirements from our existing customer base. This, in turn, led to a rise in new customers seeking solutions their providers were struggling to accommodate. Taking VoIP phones home, Horizon Collaborate, Zoom and Microsoft Teams were in huge demand for immediate deployment as businesses looked to connect armies of remote workers to cloud based services and video conferencing.
With a lack of decent broadband in many areas problems began to occur. We are sure many of you would have been on numerous video calls and experienced a problem on most. Someone would freeze mid-sentence or stuttering audio sound. Someone else might drop out altogether and be required to dial back in. 

Moving forward – 2021

It is inevitable that Covid will leave a lasting impression on the way we work, with hybrid working models – whereby, employees spend some of the week in the office and some of it at home – set to become the norm.

We will need more bandwidth, and lots of it. Openreach’s decision to retire the legacy, copper-based infrastructure by 2025 should accelerate the pace of fibre roll-out which cannot come soon enough for many.

UK Fibre providers, historically, have been able to focus on bandwidth requirements at business centres during the day and residential suburbs in the evening. Now, business districts are all but silent while residential areas hum with almost continual digital activity. 

While businesses continue to take advantage of the various grants available to invest in high-capacity leased lines, remote workers will increasingly need FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) internet connectivity. Your need for speed will depend on what exactly you do, but in the new world of work there may be more than one home worker in any household. FTTP speeds of around 100/300Mbps are probably more than enough for now, but it is not too much of a stretch to imagine data-hungry multi-homeworker residences requiring 1Gb connectivity in the not-too-distant future. Most end-users with fibre, at present, will be getting a maximum download of 80Mbps on FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) – the green box at the end of the street. 

In conclusion

Deep Blue can source and supply the best deals from the likes of BT, Virgin, Vaioni, Talk Talk, SES, Gamma, Zen, City Fibre to name but a few. With Government-funded grants available why not give us a shout and find out what works best for you…it’s all about speed.

Card Payments – Your weakest link?

As businesses adapt to the changing landscape and look to conduct business in new ways, for many this means taking their business online or over the phone. With all the changes and considerations around Covid-19 and keeping staff and customers safe, have you considered if you are PCI DSS compliant?

What is PCI DSS?

PCI DSS is the worldwide Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. It exists to help businesses process card payments in a safe and secure way. PCI DSS has 12 requirements which cover the processing and storage of card details to help business reduce the risk of card fraud.

What are the 12 points?

  • Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
  • Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
  • Protect stored data (use encryption)
  • Encrypt transmission of cardholder data and sensitive information across public networks
  • Use and keep up to date anti-virus software and programs
  • Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
  • Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
  • Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
  • Restrict physical access to cardholder data
  • Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
  • Regularly test security systems and processes
  • Maintain a policy that addresses Information Security for employees and contractors

Why is PCI DSS important?

Uk Finance’s ‘Fraud the Facts 2019’ report found unauthorised fraud losses totaled £844.8 million in 2018 – a year on year increase of 16%.

Card payments, particularly card not present (CNP) transactions are an especially risky area.

The penalties for non-compliance are severe. Not to mention the damage to your hard earned reputation.

What happens if I'm not PCI DSS compliant?

What happens if I am not compliant?

If your business is found to be non-compliant then you may be subject to fines. If your business isn’t taking sufficient steps to rectify your non-compliance then you may even be stopped from taking card payments.

Should card fraud be committed due to an oversight in your company, the penalties are much worse, not to mention the damage it can do to your reputation. If a forensic investigation is carried out and it is found that your company was at fault then you will be responsible for picking up the cost of the investigation. Fines can be leveled against you, not just for breaching PCI DSS but also for GDPR violations. Your company can end up liable for the costs of fraudulent payments made against the customers card.

Compliance obligations for any organisation found to have had a breach increase significantly.

How can I make sure I am compliant when taking payments over the phone?

One of the main risks with taking card data over the phone is exposure of the data. If you are simply asking for the numbers to be read over the phone to you it could be easily overheard, by someone nearby or by someone listening in on the line. It is important to make sure that your phone system is as secure as possible by:

  • Not using default passwords/codes for the system and its functions (e.g. voicemail)
  • Ensuring that any phones that may be unattended in public areas are passcode protected
  • Avoiding taking card details and processing payments in public areas if the call could be listened into.

People are often the weak link in any process, even the most reliable staff member can make a mistake. The people that have access to card details should be kept to a minimum. Consider taking people out of the loop completely with a payment system like Link Pay Plus which handles payments for you.

What can Deep Blue do to help my business?

Card not present (CNP) transactions are a challenge for PCI compliance, telephone payments are particularly challenging. More often than not they will breach PCI security standards as they are exposed to additional people/systems that may not be compliant.

Dual Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) masking, where customers key their details in on their phone key pads, can be a way to get round this but are costly to set up and maintain.

Link Pay Plus is a great way to take payments in a safe and secure way. A payment link can easily be sent to people by your preferred contact method:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • Webchat
  • Messenger
  • WhatsApp
  • and more

The payment can then be taken and tracked in real time by your staff, without them seeing the customers card details.

The Link Pay Plus dashboard keeps you up to date with links generated, their conversion rate and amount transacted.

How it works

The Benefits

  • Manage multiple payments at once – if you are hand keying details into your card reader and a second query comes in, what do you do? Ask you customer to wait and risk losing them? Write the details down somewhere? With Link Pay Plus you can quickly and easily send links out to multiple customers.
  • Pre-populated details – What if you are processing a payment and the customers card declines and they don’t have another one to hand? Or what if you have spent time converting an enquiry into a sale only for the customer to realise they don’t have their card to hand? Do you risk letting the call go in the hopes they ring bank? Many of us now have our card details saved in our devices and Link Pay Plus can use this information to auto-populate the customer’s details.
  • Minimal interaction – payment can be taken quickly and easily at the point of order. Pick ups and drop offs of goods can be done quickly and safely without the need to process payment at that point. Great for completely contactless service for those who are shielding.
  • Peace of mind – By letting Link Pay Plus handle your card transactions, you don’t have to worry about your staff seeing card details, or having to store sensitive information.
  • Cost effective – Link Pay Plus works on a pay per transaction basis, with no additional service charges or rentals. There is also no onsite equipment to store or maintain.
  • Fast set up – with no software or equipment to install you can be up and running in no time.

Want to know more?

If you think Link Pay Plus could be the solution your business needs then contact us now for a no obligation discussion on 0333 240 9100 or email

Putting Customers First

You can’t put a price on great customer support, although it seems some telecoms companies like to think they can. Stories have emerged recently of some companies locking customers into contracts and then charging them as much as £50 a time to make simple changes like altering voicemail.

Keeping your customers up to date with the constant changes of COVID-19 would certainly hike up your monthly bills!

At Deep Blue, we are proud of the service we offer and the support we give to our customers. Many of the services we offer allow you to make changes yourself to give you the control over your telecoms. And if the situation should arise that you can’t make those changes, we are here to offer you free support.

Why voip

Why VoIP? 9 reasons to make the change

Why VoIP? Making changes when you have an established business is always difficult, this is especially true when it comes to something as critical as your telecoms. If you’re not sure whether you are ready to take the plunge with VoIP, here are 9 reasons that might persuade you that now is the time to make the change:


Freedom from fixed lines!


Take your numbers with you if you move site with no delays: simply uplift your equipment from one location and connect it in another. Choose your number; select the area code you want to use, set up blocks of numbers, add additional numbers whenever you need them.

Manage more than one business? Control all your calls from one place. Set up numbers and call plans for targeted campaigns and special promotions to track call volumes. Manage calls for your London sales office, your Leeds tech team and your Manchester warehouse all from one online portal.

Managed Transfer

With full training included as part of your setup, Deep Blue make sure that you hit the ground running when you switch to a VoIP system.

Pre-build and test set ups allow you to get your call plans in place before your numbers move. With options to have your telephone numbers migrated at fixed time slots or even out of hours, impact to your business is minimised.


Fully scalable solutions.

Systems that are designed to grow with your business. Get new staff set up quickly and easily. Adapt your call routing to suit your needs. Move users in and out of hunt groups with a few clicks to manage busy periods and promotions.



Built in peace of mind.

Built in fraud protection monitors your call volumes 24 hours a day to keep you safe from potential fraud. Sending out alerts and even automatically applying call barring, it limits your exposure should the worst happen. Multi-layer security protocols and compulsory passcodes close off the hackers most common routes of access.


With a range of features available, even on entry level setups, VoIP solutions from Deep Blue offer so much more. You can build call plans, create Hunt Groups, even create your own auto attendant. As your business grows, so too can your telephony. Call queue features and wall board integration make building your own call centre a breeze.

Need to be MiFID II compliant? No problem! Feature rich call recording keeps your customers and business safe.

By taking advantage of the option to self-manage you can control all your telephony functions in house. No more waiting around for engineers and call out charges.


Get disaster recovery that kicks in automatically, rerouting your calls to keep you up and running. No need to rely on the local exchange or your onsite system to divert your calls.

Send calls to mobiles or alternative phone numbers. Change your voicemail message from your mobile or home phone to keep customers informed. Get new equipment delivered the next working day*.



Free yourself from the desk.

Set up home workers with their own handsets so they can work as if they were in the office. Use desktop soft clients and mobile apps to make and receive calls wherever you are. Ma

nage your DDi with just a few clicks.

Your workplace is wherever you want it to be.


If your business grows faster than you expect and you need to increase your call capacity, traditional setups like ISDN can throw up all kinds of unexpected costs. Relying on Openreach to install, there are both activation and engineering charges which can quickly mount up. And that’s before you even get into the time costs.

With VoIP solutions from Deep Blue there are no activation fees for new SIP trunks and if you have a compatible set up, they can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Withdrawal of the PSTN

From 2023, Openreach will stop selling ISDN lines and from December 2025 it is their intention to fully withdraw the PSTN network: ISDN included.

While that gives businesses plenty of time to make the change, when you consider that 16 million lines and channels will need to be migrated to alternative products it’s worth start

ing to look at other options sooner rather than later. That being said, there is no need to panic or rush to make the change (as some providers would have you believe!).

Our article ISDN withdrawal – the key questions answered has more information about the withdrawal and it’s potential impact.

If all of this has got you thinking maybe your business is ready to take the next step then speak to Deep Blue. We’ll go over all the details with you, arrange a site survey if needed and give you all the information you need to make the decision.

Gigabit Voucher Scheme

Gigabit Voucher Scheme running low!

Deep Blue supports businesses to benefit from full fibre connectivity

In 2018, The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help deliver gigabit capable connectivity to businesses. The scheme is backed by a budget of £67 million for eligible businesses to claim up to £2,500 off the cost of installation of full fibre connectivity to their premises.

With the Voucher Scheme set to run until 2021, or when the budget of £67 million runs out, it’s great to see that so many local businesses are getting on board and investing in an ultrafast and reliable network.

Have you claimed your £2,500 voucher?


If your business adheres to the following criteria, you are eligible to apply:

– Less than 250 employees
– Turnover less than £50m
– No existing leased lines on site

Get in touch for more details, but don’t leave it too long!

Gigabit Voucher Scheme
Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery – One less thing to worry about

Why is disaster recovery important? Well did you know that 80% of businesses affected by some kind of disaster either never recover or close within 18 months of reopening?

Or that the average time it takes for a business to get back up and running after a disaster is 9.4 days?

Statistics like these are the reason Disaster Recovery is something all businesses should think about.

This is why Deep Blue provide a range of products and services which ensure disaster recovery measures can be put into place quickly and easily. They can be set up in advanced and because they are controlled through an online dashboard, you can manage them from anywhere with an internet connection.

With the Automatic Failover features in Horizon and InBound, you can put measures in place so that if there is a problem with the normal line, such as a fault, outage or damage, the system will automatically divert to your specified failover, such as a mobile or alternative landline.

You can also set up invoked plans so that if your office is rendered inaccessible, such as by heavy snow, roadworks or strike action, you can have your calls routed to another site at the click of a button.

Customers with Horizon or InBound- Contact Pro also have the option of setting up a staff emergency number, which can be used to inform of the effects of any disaster. If your area is affected by something such as flooding or heavy snow, you can set up a recorded message on the emergency line which staff can then listen to, to find out if your site is open before making the journey there. This is also a useful tool for schools who can set the number up for parents to ring.

Disaster Recovery measures allow you to prepare for many of the obstacles that can hinder the running of your business. Floods and heavy snow are now common features of winter and cost businesses millions of pounds every year, severe roadworks and strike action which impede staff getting to your site can bring your business to a standstill. But with features rich hosted telephony you are always prepared.

Contact us today on 0333 240 9100 for a complete review of your company’s disaster readiness.

All that's left to say

All that’s left to say….

The Christmas jumpers have been worn, the festive call plans activated and our little Elves have now gone home. So all that’s left to say is…..

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all of our customers!

We will be back in the office on Thursday 2nd January ready to hit the New Year with a bang. Whatever your Business’ Resolutions are, Deep Blue will be here to help you and your business shine!

All that's left to say