by Bridget McCrea
Clients need it while phone and cable companies push it, but what does it really take to get an incubator wired to handle high-speed telecommunication?
Not too long ago, having an ample supply of phone jacks was the only aspect of telecommunication that a business incubator had to worry about. Today, the options are seemingly limitless, as clients demand higher speeds, better bandwidths and "always-on" Internet connections. If they're not asking, you have reason to worry about their competitiveness. The telecom menu includes cable modems, DSL, ISDN, T lines, fiber optics, satellites – a mind-boggling array of options that even the most tech-savvy incubator staff may not have time or desire to sift through. And what's it all going to cost? Who will pay?
Why all this need for speed? Simple: Although traditional dial-up modems are easy to use and come standard with most computers, their performance is limited, especially in a business setting. Plus, having to place a telephone call before establishing a connection to the Internet service provider (ISP) makes that type of access to the Internet discontinuous and inconvenient.
The root of the high-speed issue, in a word, is bandwidth – the amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. The rush is on to build the infrastructure needed to bring high bandwidth, or "broadband," communications to businesses – including those housed in your incubator.
Keywords: advocacy, impact of incubation, marketing and promotion, stakeholder relationship management, technology incubator
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