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The comprehensive coverage of free managed Wide Area Networks (WAN) is not likely to be developed in the near future, an expert has suggested.

Steve Broadhead from Broadband-Testing Labs told Computer Weekly that although businesses would benefit from access to WAN services on a free-of-charge basis, they could be waiting for a long time.

Mr Broadhead's assertion comes years after analysts had predicted that free managed WAN services would be the norm by 1998.

He went explain that rather than looking to WAN services, firms should make full use of the bandwidth that is available to them, commenting: "The bottom line is to accept that bandwidth is now affordable and largely sufficient.

"Don't get hung up on the technology and focus on applications that optimise your time and costs."

Opnet recently used launched its ACE(tm) Analyst solution which accelerates the performance of applications that are accessed over a WAN.

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