aql’s historic Grade II listed Headquarters, were described as “an extraordinary, iconic location” by the Prime Minister during his announcement of the Long-Term Economic Plan for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire in Leeds recently.
The Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer travelled to the region to promote investment and to announce their plans to add over £13 billion in real terms to the Yorkshire economy by 2030 and ensure over 100,000 more people are employed as part of the creation of a northern Powerhouse.
The message was delivered whilst standing on top of the reinforced glass platform, looking down into one of aql’s secure datacentres with the technology of the internet exchange below them.
The Prime Minister called for an optimism that’s he said “was overdue”. He gave a message of reassurance, stating that every major measure this part of the country is going in the right direction. He praised the work of Welcome to Yorkshire and it’s CEO, Gary Verity for bringing the Tour de France to Leeds and for the City for creating the grandest of Grand Départ’s.
The Prime Minister said “Our Northern Powerhouse Plan is a strategic long-term view on what the drivers of growth actually are in a modern economy.” With an emphasis on long term, this was a key message viewed as running right through everything this Government has done. Investment in infrastructure was also highlighted – including flood alleviation schemes protecting Leeds and the region.
Broadband at superfast speeds, one the core offerings catalysed by aql’s datacentres within the heart of the city, was described as one of the key elements to this plan. Others included excellent transport systems, a critical mass of skilled workers and a thriving science base.
For aql, connectivity is not all about transporting people, but more about the transport of data and bringing cities closer together through high speed, low latency connectivity. The Internet Exchange also brings the “internet content” to Leeds, with many of the social networks, streaming TV channels and app stores already being hosted within aql’s sites in Leeds.
Adam Beaumont, CEO of aql stated “Leeds is just waking up to it’s capability as a Data City. We now have London-Independent network connectivity to the US and Europe. aql also hosts the only internet exchange independent of London, providing an interface between many regional and international networks.
The exchange also connects Terabit networks such as the Janet network, providing a high speed conduit between Universities and the private sector, allowing the exchange and analysis of big data”.
Lesley Cowley, Non-Executive Director at aql added: “The reason aql are interested in Big Data is because of our pedigree in datacentre security and secure storage. We’ve also been involved in the “internet of things” since it’s inception – aql are a smart messaging company – connecting software systems to remote devices and connecting remote devices to networks, securely”. “We do this by providing secure mobile messaging, specialist data MVNO solutions and satellite machine-to-machine interfaces. Most importantly, we do this with partners – aql are the conduit or the enabler who work with the UK’s leading solutions providers to deliver end-to-end service. We do all of this with a holistic view of security and to ensure the privacy and safety of users is maintained in a connected society.”.