NorthernNet Drives Expansion of North’s Digital and Creative Industry

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NorthernNet, the new creative industry network for the north of England, is driving innovation and collaboration by connecting organisations from the digital and creative industries, with a high speed network from Virgin Media Business.

Founded to grow and develop the historically fragmented sectors in the north, NorthernNet will help to provide independent production companies and digital content and technology businesses with access to buyers and new markets. Working closely with NorthernNet, Virgin Media Business is delivering a high speed digital backbone network that supports the secure transfer of large media files as well as editing and storage facilities.

The NorthernNet network can be accessed either through direct connection, or through a series of pay as you go Media Access Bureaux (MABs), packed with industry kit required for media data to be converted, edited, stored and transferred across the infrastructure.

Through the NorthernNet network, you can transfer files at 20 times faster than your average FTP, 1 gigabyte in 90 seconds. MAB users will be to transfer files across the North and out into the rest of the world, work together quickly and efficiently using tools such as IP telephony, video conferencing, file transfer and instant messenger. The MABs will also provide access to presentation and conferencing facilities. Onsite learning materials will ensure that members have the support required to use the tools to their full potential.

Through access to NorthernNet and industry-standard tools and equipment, the MABs will provide regional companies with all they need to target and develop new business opportunities. NorthernNet is offering the industry the chance to get their first hour in a MAB free by simply logging onto www.northernnet.co.uk.

“The creative industries are one of the fastest growing sectors of the northern economy,” said Mercedes Clark-Smith, Director of NorthernNet. “NorthernNet is about bringing these industries together, fostering collaboration and supporting innovation. Virgin Media Business has been a key partner to enable NorthernNet’s creation, understanding our vision and delivering the tailored solution that matches our needs. The company is instrumental in helping us to create a truly world-class digital sector across the region.”

NorthernNet chose Virgin Media Business due to its collaborative approach and technical expertise, along with a local presence that spans the region.

“NorthernNet is a major step towards harnessing the creative power of the north and driving innovation,” said Mark Smith, Head of Public Sector North for Virgin Media Business. “Its success will not only help put the creative industries of the North firmly on the global map, but will translate into economic benefits for everyone across the region.”

NorthernNet is funded by a partnership between the North West Development Agency, Yorkshire Forward and One North East, supported by Northern Way.

The creative strength of the north is typified by the development of MediaCityUK in Salford Quays, Manchester. Europe’s first purpose-built business hub for the creative and media industries, it will be home to five BBC departments as well as providing workspaces for more than 1,100 creative and related businesses.

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