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BuSiNESS OppOrTuNiTyHelping the Norfolk business community toidentify solid, practical opportunities to growand develop is the thinking behind a brandnew event being organised by the NorfolkChamber of Commerce.Called 'Opportunities 2012', the event on 15March at Norwich City Football Club is aimingto bring the region's buyers and supplierstogether under one roof, and it is effectivelyfour events in one. It comprises Open4business,a meet the buyer event delivered in conjunctionwith Norfolk County Council, plus buyer andsupplier exhibitions and topical workshops. Theevent is free to attend.Caroline Williams, CEO of Norfolk Chamber,said: "We have created 'Opportunities 2012'to motivate the wider Norfolk businesscommunity during these challenging timesand help them understand the opportunitiesthat exist for them, both in new developmentprojects and as part of the local supply chain.It also brings together, through the suppliersshowcase, solutions businesses are lookingfor to help them grow. The strength of thisevent is giving buyers and suppliers thechance to meet face to face in one location. "This event replaces our Spring B2B show,but we will continue to hold our AutumnB2B in October each year, which bringstogether an even wider range of suppliersand new exciting innovations."The Open4business element of the eventwill enable suppliers to have one-to-onemeetings with some of the 35 key regionalbuyers who are attending. These include ahost of public and private sectorcompanies, including Blue Sky Leisure,Norfolk Constabulary and Fire Service, RAFLakenheath, plus a host of localauthorities, who are all looking to purchasea range of products and services from localsuppliers. 'Opportunities 2012' will be held on 15March at Norwich City Football Club, from10am to 5pm. For more information or toexhibit, go towww.opportunities2012.co.uk, or call01603 625977. Also, check out the websitefor the Chamber's Unlocking Growth Videoseries of top local business giving theirfeedback on how they see 2012. Business opportunities in 2012 arekey at new Chamber eventBrOadlaNd BuSiNESS FOCuS21

BuSiNESS OppOrTuNiTy22BrOadlaNd BuSiNESS FOCuSThinkingWiSp - fast local broadbandThinkingWISP is a next generation WirelessInternet Service Provider (WISP) which offersa fast way to connect to the internet withoutthe speed, cost or service restrictions oftraditional solutions. As it's a wireless systemit can provide benefit even in areas wherecurrent internet speeds are very slow. It alsodoesn't require a BT line. ThinkingWISP has been created by apartnership of Norfolk based organisations:Norfolk Rural Community Council, AFAffinity and InTouch Systems. It is initiallyavailable in the areas around Aylsham,Cawston and Reepham offering servicesfrom 3-10mb/s. However, the plan is todevelop this further as time goes on.Those of you involved in rural communitieswill recognise broadband is a critical issue andthat superfast broadband is often less of aconsideration than getting any broadband atall. We all know the value of the internet asservices move online, fuel costs rise,opportunities for home working increase andany business finds broadband access essential. For the technically interested among you it isa wireless point to multipoint system. Thereis a 1gigabit (10x 100mb) microwave linkfrom a fibre optic line in Norwich to a mastnear Marsham. On the mast there are sectorantennas that then distribute the service tousers' premises which they connect to with asmall receiver (300mmx75mm) affixed to thehighest point on their property. We have alicense from OFCOM to use the 5.8ghzfrequency band, as this requires a license, itsless frequently used and therefore less proneto interference. Although the system requiresline of site the relative flatness of the areaassists with this and we are able to put inrepeater units to reach any dead-spots.For the non-technically interested it works!At an event recently held in Spixworth amobile unit was operating, the speedchecker was running at over 8mb/sconnected to the 8mb/s service and iplayerwas streaming video without a noticeableload time.More information can be found by going to thewebsite www.thinkingwisp.co.uk, calling thehelp line 01603 558001 (sales and technicalqueries) or for more project related queriesplease contact Jon Clemo at the Norfolk RuralCommunity Council on 01362 698216.