Danny Meaney, managing director of consultancy NMP on helping regional media in the North.

Can technology help drive sustainable regional media?
Definitely. The case for strengthening the regions is stronger than ever because of the downward pressure on costs in broadcasting. It's simple: the rules have changed and there is no going back. Technologies such as ‘cloud computing' delivered as part of MediaCityUK will be a key driver in delivering sustainability over distance.

What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing (or software-as-a-service) is a technology based on web-based collaboration tools, such as remote file sharing or next-gen video conferencing.

How does it work?
Cloud computing delivers hosted applications and crucially for the media industry on-demand processing power, storage and real-time delivery of connectivity requirements. It can run on Mac, Windows or Linux platforms.

Who will benefit?
Cloud computing will bring enterprise-standard solutions within the reach of the SME. It enables small companies to get up and running without the worry and expense of the traditional IT infrastructure.

What else is going on?
The Northern Way consortium of the Northern regional development agencies (NWDA, Yorkshire Forward, One North East) has approved funding - based on work by NMP - to roll out the NorthernNet high-speed fibre network (similar in principle to SohoNet). This is designed to connect the whole of the north of England to MediaCity by enabling fast file transfer and facilitating innovation and collaborative working.