ABK's Commun-IT Van Brings Internet Access to Scottish Highlands and Islands

From: ABK Group
Published: Wed May 11 2005

ABK, specialist technology provider to the education sector, has teamed up with the Young Scot organisation to bridge the digital divide, bringing wireless Internet access to communities in some of the remotest parts of Scotland with a fully-equipped web-enabled van developed and equipped by ABK.

The Edinburgh-based Young Scot organisation has used ABK’s Commun-IT van to provide Internet access, valuable information and support to over 14,000 young people since December 2002. Equipped with over 20 laptops, the Commun-IT van hosts open sessions in schools, community halls and shopping centres across the country, offering help and advice on a range of topics.

High-speed wireless broadband gives users access to the latest information on health, politics, entertainment and the arts, successfully raising awareness on a number of important health-related issues. A series of outreach consultations carried out using the Commun-IT van have provided valuable advice on smoking, with over 4,000 young people sharing their thoughts and opinions, providing valuable data.

Simplicity and mobility are two key features of the Commun-IT van. Users do not need a special licence to drive the van. Simply pushing four buttons, which initialise the server, align the satellite and lock in to a fixed signal, takes IT out of the classroom and into the community. In addition, users do not share their bandwidth, meaning consistent, reliable and rapid Internet access.

The van has been used in all 32 Scottish local authorities, a sign of how valuable a service it is providing. The van has been used in city centres and rural communities across the country, providing Internet access to those who would not normally have it. The Commun-IT van is helping to bridge the digital divide, providing rural communities on the Orkney and Shetland islands, the Western isles and the Outer Hebrides with access to Internet resources and a host of information and support.

June Osbourne, E-Roadshow Project Manager said: "The Commun-IT van is worth its weight in gold. It is an essential part of the work we are doing, in providing young people with access to the information, help and support they need."

"We needed a mobile computing solution, which ABK provided. We take the van everywhere, from the Highlands to the islands. We have been able to take our mobile classroom and resources to remote communities in the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye. The people there do not have Internet cafes they can visit or broadband connection, and the van has been a great means of providing this technology."

"The van is extremely easy to use. Anyone on the team can drive it, as you don’t need a special licence like you would for a bus. We just turn up, press four buttons and the van does the rest for us. It has helped us to take Internet access to some of the remotest parts of the UK."

About ABK
ABK is a specialist technology provider to the education sector, with over 10 years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of today’s teaching requirements. ABK deliver complete managed services to schools, meeting all curriculum technology requirements, offering finance and maintenance packages to meet specific educational needs.
Company: ABK Group
Contact Name: Luke Ford
Contact Email: luke.ford@contextpr.co.uk
Contact Phone: +44 (0)1625 511966

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