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24.06.03
BT Openzone wireless broadband lands in Cornwall

A new type of high-speed broadband communications has made its debut in Cornwall.

The first BT Openzone wireless broadband hotspot west of Bristol was today officially launched at BT's Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station on the Lizard peninsula.

It is expected to be the first of many in Cornwall. The multi million pound broadband project actnow, of which BT is a major partner and in which Objective One has invested £5.25 million has already signed with BT Openzone and is helping to establish other sites in Cornwall. The actnow headquarters at the award winning Tolvaddon Energy Park, near Camborne, will be live with BT Openzone by the end of next month.

A BT Openzone site allows people with a laptop computer or pocket PC and Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) card to access data at speeds almost ten times faster than a conventional modem without the need to plug-in to a connection. Users have to be within about 100 metres of an Openzone to make use of the wireless technology.

At Goonhilly, a demonstrator is available for people to try the technology or visitors are able to make use of their own equipment to access the high-speed service. Each year, Goonhilly is visited by about 90,000 people.

Nationally, BT Openzone has committed itself to delivering 4,000 sites by next summer. A 'hotspot in a box' variant, a product developed by BT and Toshiba, is expected to appeal to local establishments, such as small hotels, bookshops and golf clubs, who want to give their customers the chance to benefit from mobile broadband, but need a low-cost solution.

Nigel Ashcroft, project director for actnow, the £12.5 million public and private sector broadband partnership, who also attended today's launch, said: "The establishment of these BT Openzone sites will help to ensure that Cornwall remains at the leading edge of high speed communications. To be at the forefront is vital for the future prosperity of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly because it helps to demonstrate that Cornwall is a great place to do business."

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Editor's notes:

Using BT Openzone

BT Openzone provides access to the internet and the ability to get secure and fast connection to corporate networks while working "on
the pause" away from the office. Users with a laptop and a Wireless LAN access card and software can access data at speeds of up to 500 kbps (almost 10 times faster than a standard 56K modem), enabling them to send and receive large quantities of information at broadband speed. Users need to be within range of a BT Openzone site (approx 100 metres) - zones will be badged with the BT Openzone logo. PC access cards range from £45 to £120, but are likely to become cheaper as wireless LAN is increasingly built into PCs as standard.

Subscriptions start at just £10 a month for 120 minutes and there is an occasional user option, offering a one-hour pass for just £6, which can be paid for with vouchers or online using a variety of credit cards.

A full list of prices is available at www.bt.com/openzone.

Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station

BT Goonhilly is the largest satellite station in the world. It is one of BT's key locations for international communications as well as being a major tourist attraction. The site has more than 60 satellite dishes as well as numerous fibre optic cables. About 90,000 people a year visit Goonhilly's visitors centre, which has recently been refurbished and extended.

actnow

The actnow programme is a demand-led initiative to encourage businesses in Cornwall to gain the support they need to move into the new broadband economy. Including about £5.25 million from Objective One, it is one of the largest private and public sector partnerships in Cornwall since the county was granted Objective One status by the European Union in 2000. Partners include BT, the Objective One Partnership Office, Cornwall Enterprise, the South West of England Regional Development Agency, Cornwall County Council, Business Link Devon & Cornwall and Cornwall College.

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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