Telecomm is becoming as critical to tenants as electricity and water. As a result, today’s tenants demand modern, seamless, and reliable voice and data communications that deliver lower total cost of doing business. Fortunately, there is a simple way to meet these demands – at no cost to building ownership – by inviting competitive telecomm service providers to construct their fiber networks into buildings.
Benefits of Access
Two of the most important benefits of a digital fiber provider are dramatically increased bandwidth and faster transmission speeds that these networks deliver. Typically, there are only two to three quality competitive service providers in each metropolitan area that can provide these critical benefits. Required riser space is minimal – usually a 4-inch riser needs to be installed by the provider in the building, along with a very small equipment footprint. Although the installation cost is significant, competitive providers construct these networks at their own expense.
The increased bandwidth and speeds that fiber networks deliver provides for a more satisfying user experience (currently, tenants complain about network slowdowns during periods of peak Internet use) and allows the building owner to offer cutting-edge services and products as tenants’ needs grow. For instance, Internet access, Metro Ethernet, and LAN and WAN connectivity are more efficient using fiber-based Ethernet instead of traditional telecommunications lines.
SONET-protected fiber also delivers built-in business continuity. In the event of a disaster, all communications traffic automatically re-routes over a fiber optic ring in less than 45 milliseconds; faster than you can blink. After 9/11, this has become a requirement for all companies with mission-critical voice and data services, and is another selling point for tenants.
Benefits of digital fiber networks include:
Low cost. Fiber networks are more cost effective than traditional networks, as fiber consumes less power and takes up less space.
Reduced electrical and weather interference.
On-demand installation of new services. What took 2 weeks to install in the past can be done in a day with fiber. Fiber networks offer more flexibility, reliability, and capability than traditional telecommunications networks, all at a lower cost.
Attract and Retain Quality Tenants
Digital fiber connections are an amenity that increases tenant loyalty and occupancy rates. While currently approximately 11 percent of U.S. commercial buildings have access to fiber, this number will sharply increase and building owners will not want to be left behind.
As often discussed in industry publications, high-tech, digitally connected buildings have proven to achieve higher occupancy rates than those without these features. For instance, a landlord offering “free” bandwidth as a fourth utility experienced a 15-percent higher building occupancy rate, while another landlord in a different area experienced occupancy 20-percent higher than market in his “tech-assured” complex. These are just a few examples of what’s occurring in today’s market.
Building owners and managers with fiber networks also earn recognition among tenants and peers as leaders in delivering high-performance business communications solutions to tenants.
Chuck Boto is president at Time Warner Telecom’s Real Estate Group. Time Warner Telecom (www.twtelecom.com), Denver, is a competitive service provider delivering managed voice and data networking solutions to organizations.