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Thus - the alternative telco best known for its Demon Internet brand - has won a £3m deal to supply UK radio outfit GWR with a new IP network.

The five-year contract means that GWR, which owns Classic FM as well as more than 30 local FM stations across the country, becomes the first radio broadcaster in the UK commercially to broadcast live audio over Thus's network using MPLS (multi-protocol label switching) technology.

Not only will the new network enable GWR to carry "traditional" applications (email etc.) it will also enable GWR's different radio stations to share broadcast content.

And it also consolidates all traffic from three existing networks (Data, Voice and Broadcast) to one new central network, simplifying management and reducing costs.

Said GWR's infrastructure boss, Vincent Bourne: "It gives us the capability to broadcast live from any site to any site at the drop of a hat.

"This is the way all broadcasters will be going with their services in the future, no question," he said.

Last month, Thus issued an upbeat pre-close trading statement for the year ended 31 March. It said that it was on track to start making positive operating profit in the second half of the next financial year ending 31 March 2005. ®

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