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Network 41 engages in discussion with guests about the future
Digital transformation

Witty, vibrant and informative. Network 41's "Futuretalk" once again provided excellent entertainment this year – an ideal platform for an exchange of ideas.

Digitalisation is changing the world of work, the economy and society itself at a breakneck speed. It offers new possibilities that some engage with enthusiastically but others reject. Guest speaker Felix Kamer, Vice President of Huawei Switzerland, put it like this: "The digital revolution has arrived in the real world. Our world and our environment are becoming intelligent. This gives us a whole new range of possibilities." The examples he mentioned included new methods of payment via smartphone, the sharing economy, increased efficiency in day-to-day life and the price transparency offered by online shopping.

Felix Kamer is worried that Europe and Switzerland are falling increasingly behind as this development progresses. "The USA and China are a long way ahead of us," he explained. "Key factors in terms of achieving success with digitalisation are a good infrastructure, the right regulatory measures and excellence in education. We have to do better in all these areas. The basic technology is also developing very dynamically."

Into the future with optimism
This was of course the perfect cue for Chairman of the Board of Directors Pius Krummenacher and CEO Stefan Furch. "There's still enormous potential for us – we have plenty of room for development," said Stefan Furch. "We're open to change – and that's something we've demonstrated over the course of the year." On the subject of education, he said: "We like to employ young staff and we train them ourselves. There are currently more than 20 trainees on our workforce." Both Pius Krummenacher and Stefan Furch are very optimistic about the future.

Beni – a national treasure
A more sceptical attitude towards new technology was expressed by former TV sports reporter Beni Thurnheer. The celebrity guest was interviewed by sports presenter Michelle Schönbächler. Both were highly eloquent, with Beni Thurnheer displaying his usual sense of humour. "Will ongoing improvement and increasing efficiency in all areas of life make us happier?" he asked. "Is life a competition? Do you win if you're richer than the next person when you die?"

At the drinks reception in Businesspark Sursee, the approximately 200 guests then had the opportunity to discuss all these ideas in detail – to the music of pianist Marcel Schäfer.

 

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Network 41 supports people in Bali
Investing in the future

The mountain region of Muntigunung in the north-east of Bali is gradually winning its fight against poverty. A touching success story – thanks to the association Zukunft für Kinder and the support of Network 41.

"On a trip through the Indonesian island of Bali I came across people living in abject poverty – without any support with no chance of a better future. So in 2003 I decided to give up my life in Switzerland and initiate an aid project in Bali," says Daniel Elber, founder and vice-president of the association Zukunft für Kinder. It sounds like a fairly simple step to take, but from then on Daniel Elber's life changed drastically. However, it was a change that has been more than worthwhile, he says. "I don't regret it for a second!" 

From banker to development aid volunteer
After 35 years of working in various positions at a major bank, Elber started to reflect on how he wanted to spend the rest of his working life. In spite of having enjoyed a successful career, Elber wanted to achieve more and find a new challenge for the last 15 years of his active working life. "I was starting to miss a deeper sense of purpose in my work," he says today. And so it was that the inevitable happened. On a trip to Bali he noticed how many beggars there were in the streets, even though the popular holiday island is not necessarily one of the poorer regions. "I quickly found out that there's an area of Bali where the level of poverty had got out of hand: Muntigunung. It's a region afflicted by drought and unemployment, and it's also far removed from the Bali's tourist centres." Daniel Elber decided to help the people of Muntigunung so as to enable their children to have a future.

As a partner, Network 41 shares the same values
It would be impossible for one man to tackle such an ambitious aid project all on his own of course. Daniel Elber relies on staff support on site, and he is always on the look-out for aid and assistance provided by companies and private individuals in Switzerland – not only in the form of donations but more and more through product purchases, too. "We're always in search of partners who share our values. But the people in Muntigunung have to work to earn their living – this is the only way they can regain the self-esteem they need to liberate themselves from poverty," he explains. For this reason, the most important aim of the development programme is to free people from their dependency and enable them to produce high-quality products that can be sold both in Bali and internationally.  This is the only way the existing support for training projects in Bali can be gradually replaced by successful, sustainably profitable and self-financing social enterprises.  One example is the production and sale of cashew nuts, hibiscus salt and tea, batik fabrics and hammocks.

Network 41 is fascinated by this idea and has decided to support this remarkable aid project. The goal is long-term investment in initial and further training programmes for children so as to provide the basis for a successful future in the region. To be specific: the Sursee-based network specialist purchases lontar baskets from Elber's association that are filled with the Balinese specialities. These are then passed on as customer gifts. In this way, Network 41's numerous customers find out about the aid project in Muntigunung, too. "Companies such as Network 41 help support the sustainability of the development programme in Bali," says a grateful Daniel Elber. And he's confident about the future: "Not all the villages have a sustainable water supply yet and not all the families have enough work to survive. A lot of patience and perseverance is required. But providing we get the necessary support, we'll manage it."

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What is the idea behind restructuring the mobile segment?
To create forward-looking and customer-oriented structures

Michael Fischer now takes over management of the mobile segment

In order to stay fit for the future, Network 41 is reorganising its processes in the mobile segment. There has also been a change of leadership. Michael Fischer takes over from Robert Wolff as Project Coordinator from now on.

Technological change is moving ahead at a very rapid pace in the mobile segment. “In order to be well equipped and face the challenges of the future, it’s important as a company to keep looking ahead and adapt your structures and processes to upcoming changes. This is why we’ve streamlined our internal procedures, making the most of synergies to be able to offer appropriate and marketable solutions in the future,” says Robert Wolff, Project Coordinator with Network 41.

Michael Fischer now takes over the area – a person with longstanding experience in the field of mobile communications. “I’ve been through a development programme to systematically acquire the knowledge and skills required of a project coordinator. I’m very grateful to my superiors for having giving me this opportunity and I’m definitely looking forward to the new challenge,” says Michael Fischer.

The restructuring of the segment has allowed leaner and more efficient processes to be put in place, as well as building on staff expertise. As Network 41 management board member Urs Vetter says: “We can look back on successful, proactive change and I’d like to thank Robert Wolff for his valuable work. I wish Michael Fischer all the best in his new position and I look forward to seeing the new structures running increasingly smoothly.”

Network 41 responds to future customer needs right now!

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A good match?
Christmas in both festive and murderous spirit

An atmosphere to die for at the Network 41 Christmas dinner

At the beginning of December, Network 41 invited all its staff with their partners to a Christmas dinner at Schloss Wyher. Many took up the invitation: was it the moated castle that attracted them – or the prospect of solving a crime at a whodunnit diner?

Even the invitation required staff to solve a puzzle: to find out where the party would take place. Fine aperitifs were served among fragrant pine trees in the festively illuminated courtyard, and it was only the news of a murder that slightly marred the Christmas mood.

From then on it was all down to teamwork as the whodunnit dinner team provided each table with clues. Discussions intensified as the case became increasingly puzzling. Who could the murderer be?

Before dessert was served, Executive Board Chairman Pius Krummenacher and CEO Stefan Furch took over to present a retrospect of business activities as well as a look ahead to the future. They also thanked staff and those celebrating anniversaries for their excellent work and loyalty: “It is only thanks to the work and dedication of each individual that Network 41 is able to cope with fresh challenges on an ongoing basis.”

After the delicious dessert one team really did manage to expose the perpetrator, and the successful Christmas dinner was brought to an end with a spectacular fire show.

Network 41 teamwork cracks even the trickiest cases.

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Team spirit and sportsmanship.
The Network 41 trainees are ready to roll!

Once again this October, the 22 Network 41 trainees were invited with their trainers and members of the management board to take part in a special event. With bowling as the main activity, the focus was on team spirit, sporting dexterity and social skills. 

Will everything turn out all right? Have we remembered everything? I wonder what the others are like who I haven’t met yet? Do we have to win? This was probably the kind of question running through the minds of some of the Network 41 trainees. The youngsters were cheerful but a little nervous as they came together from all over Switzerland for their annual outing, which they organised themselves this year.

After a nice introductory drink at Sursee Bowling Centre, the friendly contest got underway with mixed teams made up of members from different sites. There was certainly never a dull moment because apart from keeping count of the points, everyone had plenty of time to get to know each other, too - whether electrical planners, installation electricians, administration assistants, electricians, powerline electricians, mediamaticians or telematics technicians. While the focus was on having a good time, there was a hard-fought battle for first place, and the winners were celebrated in style when it was all over.

The 2016 trainee event was a resounding success - and a big thank-you goes to the organising team for their excellent work!

The Network 41 trainees don't just get the bowling balls rolling!

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Summer, sun and high spirits

the Network 41 summer party

Every year in the summer, Network 41 employees are invited along. This year, staff were welcomed to a big party at the «Seeland» restaurant on Lake Sempach. There were lots of reasons to celebrate: being awarded the special prize of the «Prix SVC Zentralschweiz» award ceremony as well as the retirement of Bujupi Kamer after 39 years of collaboration.

Network 41 has already held parties at the Seeland restaurant on Lake Sempach in other years – many other years in fact! Was it coincidence or pinpoint planning that resulted in this year’s summer party falling on the one sunny day we’ve had in several weeks? In any case, the beams of sunlight matched the radiant faces of the Network 41 team. They certainly had every reason to celebrate:

A few days before, Network 41 received the special prize at the «Prix SVC Zentralschweiz» award ceremony. A magnificent honour – nominated from over 90 Central-Switzerland companies, Network 41 was one of the six finalists. Stefan Furch, CEO, impressionably described the path the company took to achieve this, focusing on how he felt. “In addition to tradition and innovation, we have only been able to achieve this thanks to our motivated and well-trained employees”, stressed Stefan Furch.

After 39 working years, Pius Krummenacher, Chairman of the Executive Board, bid Bujupi Kamer farewell on his retirement and thanked him for his loyalty and many years of service with numerous rounds of the popular song «Weisch no?» He had already worked with the father of today’s chairman of the executive board as a construction worker and experienced highs and lows as well as the constant growth of Network 41.

In addition to the fantastic weather at the lovely drinks reception, everyone was delighted by the wonderful barbecue and ice cream – a big compliment goes to the Seeland restaurant on Lake Sempach. The celebration demonstrated that the team isn’t only innovative and doesn’t just take a bold approach in working life, as during the party employees created and sampled beverages with the wild name «washing machine» and committed to trying new and adventurous types of sport such as dragon boat racing. Long may it continue!

Network 41 – may the company head into the future with great ideas and a bold approach!

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Is this the way to get up-to-date with the latest technology?
Online learning

Network 41 staff pursue professional development online

Network 41 is now making use of electronic professional modules for web-based training (WBT). Skills which could previously only be learned on the job can now be acquired online via WBT. This means that Network 41 staff can update their knowledge quickly and simply.

The training programmes are compiled by well-qualified specialists at Network 41 - the ‘old hands’. In this way, individually tailored modules are created that are precisely geared to further training needs, indicating the work stages required for the various activities.

One particular advantage of these training programmes is that the content can quickly be updated, taking into account technical advancements, new safety guidelines or altered quality standards for example.

The training programmes can even be accessed via smartphone, so staff of Network 41 or partner companies can engage in professional development at any time – wherever they happen to be. Short texts and photographic illustrations or videos ensure a successful learning process. The system also includes questions to make sure the training programme has been successfully completed.

A total of more than 350 WBT certificates issued indicates to what extent Network 41 staff have updated their professional skills in the course of the last two years.

Network 41 – always one step ahead when it comes to professional expertise!

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Why is tradition essential to progress?
Futuretalk 2015

Network 41 draws on tradition as it leads the way into the future

Tradition was the buzzword at the 12th Futuretalk, attended by more than 100 Network 41 customers and partners. Sascha Ruefer was the evening’s perfect host, while guests of honour included current wresting champion Matthias Sempach as well as Yassin Fischer, who was runner-up in the world championship for plastering.

Our hosts and guests of honour were in full agreement with Pius Krummenacher, Chairman of the Network 41 Supervisory Board, when he said: «Tradition means knowing where you come from. This is what gives us our basis of trust and assurance to keep moving forward.» The notion was likewise acknowledged by Stefan Furch, CEO of Network 41, who added: «It is this trust that enables us to take on very large-scale projects for our customers all over Switzerland. And since we combine tradition with progress, we take care to promote talented individuals and ensure our specialists are provided with ongoing professional development.»

When asked by Sascha Ruefer about progress in the sport of wrestling, Matthias Sempach said: «In traditional wrestling it's the same: you can only make it to the top if you keep your mind open to new forms of training. You also have to be prepared to focus hard on your goals.» Yassin Fischer agreed: «It was only by having a clear goal in mind, keeping up constant practice to the point of perfection and maintaining a strong will that I was able to win the medal in Brazil.»

The 12th Futuretalk also featured music by Franziska Wigger with her trio and was concluded with the traditional aperitif, at which delicacies from the Entlebuch biosphere reserve were served.

Network 41 combines tradition and progress!

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What really counts for Network 41?
Faster, better, further …

Network 41 staff faced up to the Campus Sursee challenge

Every summer, Network 41 staff are invited to take part in a group activity. This year the location was Campus Sursee, where they were called upon to take on a «Building Challenge». Organised into teams comprising a cross-section of the various sites and occupational groups, staff had to tackle a diverse range of assignments. The high temperatures and challenging tasks required athleticism, skill and intellectual power, helping to forge bonds within the teams and inspiring many to achieve outstanding results.

For around the three hours, the Campus Sursee event team had Network 41 colleagues running from station to station as they set about tackling the Building Challenge: excavating, constructing formwork and reinforcements, installing drainage pipes, throwing cobblestones, reading structural plans and acting out mime. There were office workers who were good at excavating, copper splicers with tremendous stone-throwing accuracy and shy individuals who turned out to be superb mime artists. In fact there was something for everybody – new talent was discovered and ambitions were aroused. During the course of the day lots of staff got to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere and came to appreciate the new facets they discovered in their colleagues, while many a work issue was resolved swiftly and informally.

After the trials and tribulations of the Building Challenge, the teams enjoyed refreshments on Terrazza Luegisland. Campus Sursee barbecue delights and other dishes ensured a satisfying and relaxing evening – as did the Entlebuch beer. The convivial gathering went on until the sun disappeared beyond the horizon.

Network 41 tackles challenges in an informal, team-oriented manner across its various sites.

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Shareholding in Haldemann Planer AG
Handshake on a successful collaboration

Network 41 AG and Haldemann Planer AG reinforce their longstanding and successful cooperation. Pius Krummenacher of Network 41 AG has acquired a minority share in Haldemann Planer AG and takes a seat on the supervisory board. The company Haldemann Planer AG carries out planning and projection for infrastructure facilities in the areas of telecommunications, industry and commerce.

Aim of the holding. Haldemann Planer AG will continue to be run by managing director and proprietor Bruno Haldemann, and he is pleased to take on Pius Krummenacher as a sparring partner on the supervisory board, as someone with longstanding experience in the telecommunications sector. In taking this step, Bruno Haldemann aims to intensify the partnership with Network 41, and he sees it as an excellent range expansion due to the different specialist areas of the two companies. The two companies will be excellently positioned to advance further, and the Lucerne-Bern connection will throw up fresh opportunities on the market, too.

Pius Krummenacher sees the situation exactly the same way, adding that the mentalities of Bern and Lucerne complement each other well - a sound formula for longstanding and successful collaboration. Stefan Furch also notes that this handshake significantly strengthens Network 41’s expertise in the area of engineering and project management. The foundation is thus laid for further development, and Haldemann Planer AG now has the chance to assert itself as a niche provider, while Network 41 can further expand its sites in Bern and Western Switzerland.

Handshake for the future. With Lucerne’s innovative flair, Bern's quality and the shared expertise of both sides, we are well equipped to tackle the challenges posed by the telecommunications sector.

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Is Network 41 really fit?
Puls 41 as an incentive

Network 41 staff lined up for the start of the Lucerne city run for the second time this year – very much in keeping with the motto «Running is exercise and exercise is life». Participating in the run is part of the health programme “Puls 41”. Professional training sessions given by longstanding sponsorship partner Hochschulsport Campus Luzern (HSCL) ensured the team got off to an optimum start.

Healthy, well-balanced staff members are the most important asset of a successful company. Based on this premise, Network 41 established the health programme Puls 41 to focus on the areas of health, workplace design, work-life balance exercise and nutrition. This year, staff of all age categories and occupational groups took part in the 3.28 km run for the second time.

Cheered on by colleagues and family, Network 41 finished in an outstanding 23rd position out of 121 participating companies. Was this a result of the training sessions under the expert guidance of Lucerne university sports instructors? Or was it the fact that the emphasis here was on team effort and simply getting involved? Probably both! Anyway there were certainly lots of happy, beaming faces all round – so Network 41 will be in on the action once again at next city run in 2016.

Puls 41 at Network 41 – keeping everyone on the move and in good shape!

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Takeover of the companies Telecom Group GmbH and Broger Telekom GmbH
Network 41 remains on track for growth.

As of July 2014, Network 41 AG takes over the companies Telecom Group GmbH in Wolfhalden and Broger Telekom GmbH in Dornbirn. These acquisitions will enable Network 41 to integrate established telecommunications companies in its existing structures.

Aim of the takeover

It gives us great pleasure to inform you that as a result of the integration of these companies, Network 41 is able to expand its territory into Eastern Switzerland and the Voralberg region, reinforcing the existing team in the area of new construction and modernisation of mobile network stations.

Further development

As a result of this move, the previous company proprietor Mr. Stefan Nussbaumer becomes Regional Head of Eastern Switzerland of Network 41 AG. We look forward to tackling the challenges ahead together and we strongly believe that this geographical expansion and the expertise of Mr. Nussbaumer and his team will provide a major boost to the further development of Network 41.

Welcome

We should like to welcome the staff of Telecom Group GmbH and Broger Telekom GmbH most cordially to Network 41 and look forward very much to a successful collaboration.

Network 41 AG - the management

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Successful in three occupational groups
Apprenticeship certificates in 2014

Congratulations to the trainees - we’re proud they’ve passed their examinations!

The new specialists have spent the last four years filling their backpacks with knowledge and skills – and now they’re ready to gain lots of fresh experience.

Where are they heading?

We're pleased to announce that Stefanie Najer will be staying on with us as a support assistant in the IT department. Carlo Brun, Oliver Krauer, Florim Osmanaj and Noël Zappa will be pursuing new career openings or doing their military service.

Network 41 as a training centre

Network 41 currently has 12 trainees in the following professions:

- 3 electricians (federal vocational certificate)

- 1 installation electrician (federal vocational certificate)

- 3 electrical planners (federal vocational certificate)

- 1 mediamatician (federal vocational certificate)

- 3 telematics technicians (federal vocational certificate)

- 1 business assistant (federal vocational certificate)

 

Five more trainees will commence their training programmes with Network 41 AG as of August 2014.

Network 41 aims to train well-qualified specialists in the telecommunications sector and is pleased to welcome young, motivated trainees every year. It is important to us to make the apprenticeship period as varied as possible and involve trainees in a wide range of interesting projects. Network 41 also constantly encourages trainees to be independent so as to ensure they are well prepared for working life.

Training a new occupational group

Network 41 welcomes trainees and their new ideas as they provide a breath of fresh air. Dialogue between the vocational school and in-house training helps ensure that Network 41's expertise is continuously advanced. The decision has now been taken to take on trainee powerline technicians (federal vocational certificate) as a new occupational group in 2015. We look forward to receiving numerous applications for the vacant trainee positions in 2015.

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How does Network 41 AG contribute to environmental protection?
The environmental mission statement of Network 41 AG

The environment has long been important to Network 41 AG, which is why we have decided to set a new example by introducing the ISO 14011 standard. We are very concerned to ensure that the following points are observed and continuously improved upon so that we can make our contribution to the environment:

___ Leadership: We are committed to environmentally compatible business operations and we make the necessary means and structures available for this purpose.

___ Saving resources: We work with a modern, resource-saving infrastructure, and in terms of power procurement we give preference to partners who operate according to ecological principles.

___ Involving partners: We involve our partners in our environmental process along the entire value creation chain.

___ Customers: We are committed to striking a careful balance between the environmental compatibility of measures and their economic feasibility from our customers’ perspective.

___ Motivating and training staff: We promote environmental awareness among our staff as well as a knowledge and understanding of the environment. By means of open communication we motivate them to act in an environmentally sound manner.

___ Law:  We meet the legal requirements and we are committed to subjecting our activities to the appropriate environmental standards.

___ Creating transparency / communication: We cultivate a climate of openness and dialogue. We provide regular information on our environmental activities in our sustainability reports. Based on the existing data management system, key performance indicators are provided to show the environmental situation and how it is developing.

___ Appeal for ongoing improvement: We call on our staff to be proactive in helping to continuously adapt our standards to meet environmental needs.

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How did they manage to defuse the bomb?
Trainee event with great apprentices

Did a bomb go off at the Network 41 trainee event?

In October every year, the Network 41 trainees get together with their trainers and members of the management board to go on an excursion. While in recent years a game of ice hockey was organised, this year the activity was a paper chase through Sursee with the aim of defusing a bomb. Team spirit, solution-oriented action, skill and the dedication of each individual involved were key requirements in achieving the objective.

Appropriate to Network 41, participants were given an app on their smartphones which guided them to the finish via ten mystery stations. They obtained a code for each correct solution. When the code was entered, the app guided them to the next station. The app also provided help with solving brain twisters, finding things that were hidden, getting into contact with strangers or fishing at the right spot.

The trainees come from different parts of Switzerland so this gave them the opportunity to get to know each other better, as well as their trainers and management team members. Once their ambition was sparked, the teams did everything they could do draw on the strengths of individual team members to complete the chase.

The group that was first to reach the final station got the code for defusing the bomb. What luck! Network 41 is still in one piece, and a nice aperitif was enjoyed by all to celebrate the success of the mission.

Network 41 embraces solidarity and lean hierarchies!

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What is Puls 41?
Network 41 is fighting fit

As part of the health programme PULS41, Network 41 took part in the category «City Runners» in this year’s Lucerne run. 57 staff ran the 3.28 kilometres through Lucerne – in spite of grim weather.

What is PULS41?

The health concept PULS41 launched in 2013 aims to achieve a 10% reduction in the number of absences at Network 41 caused by work accidents, other accidents and sick days. In order to achieve this, a four-year programme was developed in collaboration with Suva. The individual yearly focus areas aim to help people gain a better perception of their own bodies, and signing up for the Lucerne run in the category «City Runners» was a first step in this direction. Network 41 entered a total of 57 runners – the third largest group in the category.

The preparation

In terms of sporty expertise, Network 41 found an ideal partner to implement PULS41: Patrick Udvardi, Director of Hochschulsport Campus Luzern. He and his team developed a three-part training programme made up of various units in which runners were shown how to adopt a correct, healthy running style. Improvement potential was quickly identified and motivation grew from one training session to the next.

The run

After the group warm-up and the final tactical brief, the starting signal sounded punctually at 5.51 pm. The crowd’s cheers and the runners’ own aspirations motivated each individual to give of their very best. No doubt physical self-perception got off to a good start, but it was the sense of pleasure and pride in the team’s achievement that dominated the subsequent evening meal. Having finished in 35th position with an outstanding overall time of 1:11.43.2, Network 41 staff demonstrated that they are one step ahead not just in the telecommunications sector but in terms of their sporting prowess, too.

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