TechLink: Bridging UK – Estonia Opportunities
Following a series of trips to Estonia, Adam helps found TechLink, a UK-Estonia technical collaboration platform that has led to numerous collaborations between companies and start-ups in two countries.
aql buys BlueWave.
aql purchases Isle of Man-based BlueWave Communications following the death of its founder, Stuart Baggs (a former contestant on The Apprentice).
Stuart had worked closely with aql as a customer and partner for many years and had deployed similar technology on the Isle of Man to that deployed by aql. He’d also collaborated on several innovative Wifi projects with aql’s development teams.
Birth of NorthInvest.
In 2015, Adam identified a need to give tech startups better access to funding and created NorthInvest – a not-for-profit mutual which brings together angel investors and entrepreneurs across the North.
Northern Powerhouse concept launched at aql HQ.
aql’s HQ, the historic Salem Chapel, hosts then-Prime Minister David Cameron and then-Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne for talks as part of the government’s plan to improve the Northern economy. The “Northern Powerhouse” concept is launched following this event.
South Point acquired for data centre.
aql buys a 57,000 sq ft former council building located at South Point, Leeds with plans to convert the site into another data centre.
aql goes big in Education.
By 2012, aql has become the main regional hub for many of the large national fibre networks and is the main northern gateway for the UK academic network, known as “Janet”.
By 2009, Adam Beaumont had built aql’s first datacentre within this building and co-founded IXLeeds, the UK’s first mutual, not-for-profit internet exchange outside London.
Discovery of Salem Chapel.
In 2008, driven by the need to increase the resilience of aql’s services, Adam Beaumont had looked to establish a physical site to allow aql’s services to become independent of the datacentres in London. At that time, all networks interconnected in the capital and to the two UK internet exchanges based there. Adam identified a building in the correct location in Leeds – an old chapel sat at the convergence of the many UK fibre networks.
aql is born
Adam Beaumont founds aql in 1998 as a domain registrar and hosting company at the beginning of the “internet boom”.
Adam expands further into telecommunications in 2003, transforming aql into a full network operator, capable of supplying UK telephone numbering to the broadband industry to fulfil the growing demand for broadband voice services (VoIP).
aql would add more than 40 million telephone numbers over the next decade – making it one of the largest wholesale numbering operators in the UK – and provide services via open standards and protocols to the UK internet service providers.