AIU Enters $8 Million Agreement for RWAN: Expedient to Provide Internet and Hosting

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As part of its development of an ultra high-speed Regional Wide Area Network (RWAN) for school districts, the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) has signed an $8 million master service agreement with two telecommunications companies for construction and Internet services. Expedient Communications, a leading provider of data center and managed data network services for local business customers in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Boston, will provide Internet and hosting services from its Green Tree facility while Sunesys, a Warrington, Pa.-based telecommunications company, will build approximately 130 miles of the network's physical structure.

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    School district technology directors are scheduled to tour the facilities at Expedient Communications' Green Tree facility, Parish St. on Monday, March 3, at 1:00 p.m.

The RWAN, which will connect 41 school districts, four vo-tech schools and the AIU, will provide about 100 times more broadband capacity while reducing Internet service fees. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring, and 18 districts will be connected to the network by September 2008. Since January, school boards across Allegheny County have passed resolutions authorizing the AIU to enter the master service agreement on their behalf.

The new RWAN will increase school network communication speeds from 10 to 1,000 megabits per second, and will enable districts to connect to each other, to schools across the state and to Internet2. This new network is essentially a paradigm shift, and will expand educational possibilities for teachers, administrators and students.

In December the AIU was awarded a three-year, $2.35 million state E-Fund grant for RWAN development. Federal E-Rate funding is pending.

About the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU)

The Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU) is a branch of the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The agency, which employs 2,200 educators at 721 sites throughout Allegheny County, operates 11 family centers, three schools for exceptional children, and provides specialized education services to 42 suburban school districts. Funded by federal, state, county, and private grants, the AIU coordinates 130 programs for infants, students, and adults. For more information go to http://www.aiu3.net.

About Expedient

Expedient manages one of America's largest all-Ethernet networks, delivering advanced internet, voice and managed services to commercial and government entities throughout the United States. Through the power of its carrier-class Ethernet IP network and class one data centers, Expedient provides innovative and cost-effective networking solutions engineered to meet even the most demanding business needs. Expedient is a proud member of the Continental Broadband family of commercial internet data providers wholly owned by Landmark Communications. Privately owned Landmark Communications' companies are a diverse group of award-winning publications and media outlets, including newspapers, television broadcasting, cable TV programming (The Weather Channel), and electronic publishing. To learn more about Expedient please log on to http://www.expedient.com, or call 866-276-2973, toll-free.

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Christine Pietryla
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