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Wales to take the lead in UK broadband

Eric Doyle
The Welsh Assembly is to invest more than £14m in a broadband infrastructure. This could put Wales significantly ahead of the rest of Britain in high-speed communications.

The National Assembly for Wales announced last week that it was concentrating its spend on educational establishments, but the infrastructure will also benefit Welsh businesses.

The contract is being carried out by IT network integration supplier Logical for Welsh Networking, a company set up by the Welsh parliament.

David Harrison, chief executive of Welsh Networking, said that the education sector will not be the only beneficiaries.

"The creation of this network will also allow companies and business parks which are working closely with the higher and further education communities, to benefit from improved connectivity to partner institutions, each other and to the Internet," he said.

"In this way we expect to provide an infrastructure of real benefit in supporting the Information Age Strategic Framework for Wales."

Welsh Networking was set up to promote the growth of a regional high-bandwidth network for Wales. This will connect educational institutions, local authorities, and other public and private sector organisations enterprises, and act as a regional resource supporting the work of the assembly.

The deal covers the creation of a network linking all 22 local education authorities and eight university sites in Wales. This will be based on seven points of presence.

The contract includes all hardware, bandwidth for three years, professional services and maintenance. In addition Logical will also provide a bespoke managed service solution for the network.

eric.doyle@rbi.co.uk

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