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Local Tech Wire

RALEIGH, N.C. – Raleigh is No. 1 when it comes to being a “wired” city, says Forbes magazine.

The City of Oaks is also the city of fast bits-and-bytes, says Forbes in its annual

A year ago, Raleigh, a perennial win, place or show in numerous Best City lists such as to live, work and play, placed 15th.

“Raleigh is the kind of tech-forward city that, innovative as it is, often gets overlooked in favor of San Francisco, San Jose or Seattle,” wrote Elizabeth Woyke in the report. “But this year the North Carolina capital passed its flashier rivals to grab the No. 1 spot …”

Woyke describes Raleigh as a “surprise winner” but notes: “Raleigh boasts plenty of technology assets, including a high concentration of info-tech companies, research universities and state government offices.”

Atlanta, No. 1 in 2008, is second this year followed by Seattle, last year’s No. 1.

The rankings are based on three criteria:

• Broadband penetration
• Broadband access
• And “plentiful Wi-Fi spots

“Taken together, the factors point to a populace that readily uses high-speed Internet inside and outside the home,” Forbes says.

The magazine notes that Sprint picked Raleigh and the Research Triangle as one of its first “4G” faster wireless network efforts as well as the presence of the high-tech Park, its many tenants and the region’s universities.