Near the A.W. Beattie Career Center in McCandless (Allegheny Co.), five graduate students from China live in two apartments. Each day, they walk to Beattie, where they use video cameras to teach Chinese classes to middle and high school students throughout the region. The program is one of many in the county that uses a regional computer network coordinated by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Starting this summer, the programs will use a new Regional Wide Area Network - one that will provide those services cheaper and faster. "It's the beauty of bulk purchasing," Jon Amelio, chief technology officer for the AIU, said of the cost savings realized by the new contract. "This was a huge collaborative effort." The cost savings over the current provider will be dramatic. "In a nutshell, districts will save anywhere from 40 to 70 percent over what they're paying now," Mr. Amelio said.
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