IM this article to a friend!

November 23, 2004

Looking at the broader picture

From: ic - Middlesbrough,England,UK - Nov 23, 2004

By Evening Gazette

Bt is once again very pleased to sponsor the Internet and ICT category of the Tees Valley, Durham and Wearside, and Tyneside and Northumberland business awards.

The past year has seen major changes for BT in the North-east, with the announcement in January of a partnership with regional development agency One NorthEast, which will make broadband available from every telephone exchange in the region.

Nationally, BT also announced that it has extended the reach of broadband within each exchange area so that even more homes and businesses are now able to receive the service.

David Haley, BT North-east regional manager, said: "By Spring 2005, everybody in the North-east will be connected to a broadband-enabled exchange, providing coverage for more than 99pc of the residents and businesses in those areas.

"Those who join the growing number of broadband users will discover for themselves how it can transform everyday activity like education and entertainment.

"It's also making a big difference to the way small and medium-sized enterprises are doing business.

They are now able to take advantage of the same cost-reducing and time-saving technologies and Internet-based applications as larger organisations.

"I believe the Internet and ICT Award is important for two reasons.

It allows those who are already using these technologies to benefit from the publicity the award can bring and reward them for their innovation.

And it also encourages other businesses to look at how they are using the Internet and Information and Communications Technology, be inspired by the winners, and think about how they too can benefit.

"Improving businesses through the effective use of broadband technology complements existing programmes in the region.

It does so by helping create inward investment, and more importantly jobs, and prosperity throughout the area.

That is why I would like to encourage companies and organisations from across the region to take part in these important awards."

Last year's BT Internet Award winner was SignPost, a specialist Tyne Tees Television company, which is the largest provider of on-screen British Sign Language (BSL) for deaf people.

SignPost was praised by the then Minister of State for E-Commerce, Stephen Timms, for its demonstration of innovative use of broadband technology to deliver the only daily signed news service for deaf people.

The BT Internet Award was the forerunner to many further awards resulting in national recognition for the company.

Malcolm Wright, Tyne Tees Television's head of new media, said they have won three major awards in the past year.

"We have established SignPost as the national centre of excellence for e-communication with deaf people and our BSL service continues to grow."

Copyright Trinity Mirror Plc 2004