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Cutting edge of technology.

Byline: By Ed Brown

At the forefront of technological change and innovation in telecommunications across the region is Adit North East.

This is why we are delighted to sponsor the Durham and Wearside and Tyneside and Northumberland sections of the technology category of The Journal Business Awards.

One of nine regional Adits, formerly known as Regional Aggregation Bodies, we were set up by the DTI to get the best value for the public sector in IT and broadband- related services procurement and also to increase broadband take-up.

With our extensive list of leading IT and telecoms service providers and deep knowledge of the market, we believe we are uniquely well placed to deliver on those aims.

And it is important that we do so, as it is estimated that the taxpayer could be saved almost pounds 200m a year throughout England in broadband purchasing.

Furthermore, with extensive broadband availability, second only to London, the region is lagging behind in terms of take-up rates. If we are to compete in the fast-changing global economy, then that has to be addressed.

But we are confident that at Adit North East, we are already making a real difference.

In our first eight months, we have already negotiated contracts worth pounds 10m ( the best performance among all the regional Adits.

With contracts negotiated by Adit North East spanning the region and beyond, our expertise and knowledge are recognised to be bringing real savings to the public sector.

Lengthy procurement processes are costly in terms of money and time.

Using Adit's expertise, the public sector can eradicate that process and begin to demonstrate cost savings immediately.

Adit has also been responsible, on behalf of One NorthEast, for managing the project to upgrade telephone exchanges for broadband.

This project will see the North-East as the first region to have every exchange enabled for broadband by the end of next month with more than 98pc of the region able to take advantage of the benefits broadband technology can bring to their home and work lives.

Also, schools throughout the region will be video linked, thanks to the latest deal we have brokered, setting up a six-figure contract between the Northern Grid for Learning and leading pan-European internet service provider Easynet. Northern Grid for Learning is a consortium of local education authorities in the North-East, set up to provide applications and connectivity to schools across the region.

Easynet, in partnership with Videonations, has won a tender to provide video conferencing facilities via broadband in schools throughout Northern Grid's areas of North and South Tyneside, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton.

It is hoped that about a tenth of the primary and secondary schools in Northern Grid's areas will be taking up video conferencing broadband by the end of the year.

Already we have acquired considerable experience in putting these deals together and, in the North-East and further afield, we are winning a reputation for getting things done and for being able to deliver real savings.

In the process, we have also learned that the region has a vibrant and highly innovative technology sector, so we look forward to receiving some impressive entries for these awards.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2005
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