National Business Incubation Association; Your source for knowledge and networks in business incubation

Getting wired

by Bridget McCrea

December 2000

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?

Faster, faster …

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.

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Keywords: advocacy, impact of incubation, marketing and promotion, stakeholder relationship management, technology incubator

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