PictureTel Announces Welsh Education Embraces Cutting Edge Videoconferencing Strategy

May 11, 2001

PictureTel®, the world leader in visual and audio collaboration, and its partner Pinacl Communications Systems, have secured one of the largest videoconferencing projects ever undertaken in Europe.

They have been commissioned by the United Kingdom Education and Research Networking Association, (UKERNA®), to supply an 80-suite videoconferencing network for Welsh Further Education Colleges and Higher Education Institutions – the first such project to involve both sectors.

Pinacl is to integrate the solution, which will be based around PictureTel hardware and Cisco networking equipment. More than 80 studios around Wales will benefit from PictureTel’s flagship PictureTel 970™ videoconferencing units, with interactive electronic whiteboards, data projectors, document cameras, VCRs, PCs, and Crestron studio control systems.

Each institution will furnish studios and install ISDN lines, but as the project progresses a transition towards Internet Protocol(IP) use will be made.

The project is designed to facilitate the best possible distributed learning and remote teaching, for student groups of all sizes – and is being financially supported by Education and Learning Wales (ELWa(1)) and the European Regional Development Fund.

“This is a big endorsement of our iPower platform, which was always designed to handle technically and geographically complex implementations just as easily as single sites,” added Roger Dunkley, EMEIA Regional Sales Director of PictureTel. “It is exciting to be working with Pinacl on a project of this scale and vision, and with a customer who is so enthusiastic about what videoconferencing can now do.”

“This is a world-class solution, the most complex educational videoconferencing project in Europe,” said Adrian Head, general manager of video network solutions at Pinacl. “The PictureTel 970 is a benchmark in conference room systems, designed to achieve a fully integrated videoconferencing and data sharing experience which is as flexible and intuitive as possible. As things stand, Higher and Further Education in Wales will easily lead the rest of the Europe on distance learning, remote teaching and other multi-site broadcasts.”

For further information about UKERNA® please consult: http://www.ukerna.ac.uk

For further information about the Welsh Video Network project please consult: http://www.wvn.ac.uk

(1) ELWa, Education and Learning Wales was formerly known as the Welsh Funding Councils.

UKERNA® is a registered trademark of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scotland and Wales.

About PictureTel

PictureTel Corporation (NASDAQ:PCTL) is the world leader in developing, manufacturing, and marketing a full range of visual- and audio- collaboration platforms.

PictureTel markets network conferencing servers in addition to the complete range of end-point products and delivers a global capability to service, support and provide complete solutions for customers needing rich media communications.PictureTel is fundamentally in the business of eliminating the barrier of distance, enabling people to be Anywhere Now.

For more information, visit http://www.picturetel.com

PictureTel is a registered trademark of PictureTel Corporation. PictureTel 900 Series, iPower, Share Ideas Simply and Anywhere Now are trademarks of PictureTel Corporation.

All other terms and products names may be trademark or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

About Pinacl

Pinacl provides networking technologies & services to enable organisations – particularly in government, transportation, telecommunication and financial markets – to benefit from the effective use of IT and the Internet.

The company was created through a management buy-in/buy-out from the worldwide Pilkington Group in 1993 and currently employs 450 people at its facilities in North Wales, London, and its subsidiary, Pinacl Communications Inc, based in New York.

With revenue in excess of 45million pounds, Pinacl supplies its products and services to some of the world’s most successful blue-chip companies as well as an established and growing network of resellers in the international market For more information about Pinacl, visit their web site http://www.pinacl.com.

On 12th January 2001 Pinacl Plc. was acquired by Tyco Electronics.