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Survey: Access to High-Speed Networks and Services is a Top Priority for Commercial Real Estate Tenants

High-bandwidth network connections are thought by tenants to be a more important competitive advantage than gyms, cafeterias and other building amenities, according to the "2011 State of Communications Services in Commercial Real Estate Survey" released by Comcast Corporation.

Comcast polled almost 500 American commercial real estate building owners and property managers--all members of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). They represent all types of properties across the U.S., including high-rise commercial office buildings, suburban office parks, healthcare facilities, government buildings and educational institutions.

Respondents were asked to give their opinions on the importance of advanced communications services for attracting and retaining tenants. Here are highlights about what they shared:

  • 90 percent said that access to advanced communications ranked top on the list only after price, parking and location;
  • 61 percent report that having advanced communications in their buildings provides them with a competitive advantage;
  • 50 percent said providing multiple service provider options positively impacts occupancy rates by up to 19 percent; and
  • Over 33 percent said that in 75 percent of negotiations with prospective tenants, the topic of access to advanced communications services is discussed.

Terry Connell, senior VP for Comcast Business Services, said that as businesses look to accelerate their operations and reduce IT costs with SaaS and cloud-based services, "companies are realizing that a scalable, reliable, wide-area network connection is critical to the success of their business." That is "precisely why" access to multiple fiber network connections is a top priority in recent office space searches, he emphasized.

"At our recent annual conference, building owners and managers were talking about strategies for making their buildings `smart' - both from a sustainability and technological standpoint," said Patricia M. Areno, CAE, senior VP of BOMA International. "Access to advanced communications seems to be a new competitive advantage when marketing buildings to tenants, and these survey results illustrate that communications is an ever-increasing priority for commercial property owners."

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