Michelle Comerford, Project Director and Industrial & Supply Chain Practice Leader, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co. (Oct/Nov 07)
High-Speed Internet and Site Selection
it comes to site selection, the importance of high-speed Internet
availability depends on the type of operation and the project
requirements. For an operation that requires T1, T3, or OC service, the
availability of such service often quickly narrows the search area.
these are direct point-to-point lines, a community must have a service
provider central office in the area in which a T1, T3, or OC line can
be linked. There may also be distance restrictions from the user
location to the central office. Depending on the type of line used
(copper vs. fiber optic, for example), the level of service will
deteriorate at different rates as the user moves further from the
service provider central office. Consequently, rural areas and small
towns are far more likely to have difficulties in fulfilling high-speed
access requirements compared to metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas
often have multiple service providers and central office locations
capable of supporting T1 service or better.
In a recent site
selection project, Austin Consulting was engaged to help locate a data
center for a large manufacturing company with multiple facilities
across North America. The client utilized an enterprise resource
planning (ERP) system to control operations. The company's network and
ERP system were hosted from one of its manufacturing operations. Due to
data security and stability concerns, the client decided to relocate
the data center to an off-site location and was looking for a site that
was serviced by two T1 lines from two competing service providers.
Because the new data center would house the ERP system for the entire
corporation, the client desired redundancy to ensure continuous service
in case one line was to go down.
The need for high-speed
Internet service will continue to grow as more business operations
adopt Internet-based enterprise systems. During site selection for new
operations, careful research is required to ensure the right service is
available. Decision-makers must be diligent in their investigation
given the rapidly changing telecommunications landscape. More lines and
more advanced technologies are constantly finding their way to the
market, making this a site selection factor that is bound to be on a
top-10 list for a long time to come.
Consulting is an industry leader providing global analysis, site
selection, due diligence, and incentive negotiation for manufacturing
plants, distribution facilities, R&D centers, and office
operations. Austin Consulting is an extension of The Austin Company,
headquartered in Cleveland with offices in Atlanta, Ga., and Irvine,
Calif., and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kajima USA.