by Tim Pett
Milton Park in Oxfordshire, England, is a business park with a large proportion of high-tech and science based companies that is situated just 5 miles from CLRC's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. It is thought to be the first business park in the UK to give its tenants free access to the Internet.
A unique partnership between RAL's Computing and Information Systems Department, Lansdown Estates Group (who own and manage the Park) and Aligrafix Ltd (a Park tenant) has resulted in Milton Park having its own World-Wide Web pages. Lansdown Estates Group has arranged for free access to the Internet from a public computer terminal for all the Park tenants. They have provided a PC, phone line and modem in their Innovation Centre on the Park. CISD staff have installed the SLIP software which enables the PC to make a dial-up connection to a server at RAL with access to the Internet via JANET. A Web browser and an email client, which accesses mailboxes on a POP server at RAL, have also been provided.
Aligrafix, who are specialist designers, particularly of on-line information, have produced a set of Web pages for the Park which are stored on their Web server (http://www.miltonpark.co.uk/). The pages include general information about the Park, its facilities, how to get there and a list of job vacancies among the 130 companies on the Park, who between them employ over 3500 people. There is also a directory of all the companies, and a `home page' for each one containing information about the company and its services. Internet Club
RAL has extended this facility by setting up an Internet Club to provide the opportunity for other local companies, particularly those at Milton Park, to have their own Internet connections enabling them to explore the potential benefits for their businesses of using Email and the Web. Initially this has been restricted to a group of 9 companies who have been provided with the necessary software and support to set-up the Internet links via dial-up to RAL. The Group will meet at regular intervals with experts from RAL's Computing and Information Systems Department to discuss experiences, new ideas and any problems encountered. It is hoped that the diversity of companies in the group will ensure that a wide range of applications are explored and their commercial value assessed.
Benefits for the Internet Club members include: