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Some common questions on integrated communications.

(This column is part of a weekly question-and-answer series on telecommunication services designed to help real estate professionals compete for and retain tenants.)

Tenants in commercial buildings have come to expect state-of-the-art communications capabilities, including high-speed Internet access as well as Web-based information and local and long distance services. As companies of every size use the Internet to power key functions like sales, distribution and supplier relations, building owners need to provide communications services that allow tenants to operate their businesses in the new "e-economy."

What is an integrated communications provider?

An ICP, or integrated communications provider, offers customers one-stop shopping for all their advanced communications needs including high-speed Internet access and voice, data, video and content services. Some integrated providers also offer related services such as Web hosting, e-commerce support and systems integration. ICP customers receive a single bill for all services, and have a single source for service and support.

I have a modest building portfolio. Is any of the talk about advanced communications services relevant to me?

Absolutely. Your tenants are part of the boom in business use of the Internet. Half a million new business users log on to the Internet each week. Half of medium-sized businesses already have their own Web sites. Forrester Research predicts business to business e-commerce will exceed $1.3 trillion by 2003. Your tenants need broadband communications services to support their expanded use of the Internet, as well as for video-conferencing and data exchange.

Do the signals from different types of rooftop antennas interfere with each other?

It depends on the type of antenna. Every antenna is designed to receive and transmit signals in a specific frequency band - its "lane" on the signal highway. Services that operate in close frequency bands adjacent lanes - are more likely to experience signal "accidents" or interference than those farther apart. Pager and cellular antennas may have interference problems, while fixed wireless antennas, which operate many bands higher than other services, will not.

Terms of the Week: Intranet and Extranet.

Companies use Intranets - internal Internets - to broadcast information to employees and collect data within the company. Extranets allow two or more companies to exchange selected information, facilitating supplier relationships and strategic partnerships. Computer security techniques protect Intranets and Extranets from public access.

Rick Uhl is president and COO of Winstar for Buildings.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Hagedorn Publication
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Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Uhl, Rick
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 17, 1999
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