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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 8, 2000. All rights reserved.
The name alone lends itself to associations with the
"smart-building" movement. Intellispace, a Manhattan-based
company that opened an office at 5 Independence Way last month, is
one of the newest telecommunications companies to capture the attention
of property managers eager to upgrade their buildings for the companies
of the future.
Unlike other companies that are bundling telecommunications services,
though, Intellispace’s product is remarkably simple: high-speed, continuous
Internet access through fiber optics capable of handling 100 megabits
of information per second. A standard telephone line, by comparison,
carries only 56,000 bits.
Founded in 1995, Intellispace has installed its fiber optic lines
in the Rockefeller Center, the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and
190 other buildings. It recently pushed out into the suburbs of New
York and northern New Jersey, where it has a contract to wire 18 properties
for Hartz Mountain Industries.
Intellispace will eventually move to a bigger space nearby, but Princeton
will be the company’s permanent New Jersey home, says Joe Anzalone,
the director of business development. "The Internet is an integral
part of technology today, and since this is part of the technology
corridor, it fits what we’re doing," says Anzalone, a former web
Using the established fiber or existing copper wires owned by companies
like Bell Atlantic, Intellispace runs a circuit to the main telephone
closet of a given building, and then separates dedicated circuits
from the main router to each tenant that subscribes to the service.
Businesses are required to contract with a networking service themselves.
Each building is fashioned with a redundant circuit in case service
on one system is interrupted. "We may bring a circuit in from
Princeton, and we may bring a circuit in from Jersey City for example,"
The cost to the building manager is nothing. Subscribing businesses
pay around $2,000 for the initial wiring and connectivity for the
highest-speed connection, and a monthly fee that is rate-shaped to
each tenant. For a full 1 million bits of capacity, tenants pay roughly
$1,000, but theoretically a business could subscribe to as little
as a 64 bit connection. Anzalone declines to make any statement now
Anzalone has been targeting multi-tenanted business properties. Larkin
Associates in Belle Mead, a real estate development company that owns
and manages 60 buildings in the area, recently signed on, and Anzalone
claims to be getting from a dozen to two dozen calls a day regarding
Commercial real estate and telecommunications go well together. In
fact, over the past year, start-ups have joined the already established
Internet Service Providers and telecommunications companies in offering
an array of high-tech services. Nex-i.com, for example, the Research
Park start-up, markets itself as a provider of pre-packaged, plug-in
local area networks. It leases services, provides help desk capability,
and offers Internet access through a T1 line, which the company intends
to become a framework for voice over IP and software distribution.
At a speed of 1.54 megabits per second, though, the T-1 lines pale
in comparison to Intellispace’s fiber. For the future of telecommunications,
that’s a crucial distinction, says Anzalone. "Once voice over
IP and different data services are available, it’s going to be less
costly to connect through a system like ours than it would be by other
means," he says, paraphrasing Intellispace founder Marc Josephson,
quoted in the New York Times on February 27.
Nonetheless, Intellispace and Nex-i.com are vying for the same customers.
"One of the properties I’m trying to acquire these guys have an
agreement with right now," says Anzalone of Nex-i.com’s founders,
Ira Baseman and Michael Marculek. Nex-i.com is currently in over a
million-and-a-half square feet of space, Baseman told U.S. 1 on February
9. For a 10-person office, the company charges roughly $1,000 for
installation of a plug-in system, and $1,000 per month for maintaining
the local area network.
It may come down to which companies are thinking long-term, and which
want to keep their network in house. "Not everyone agrees with
doing Internet connectivity," says Anzalone, "but it’s the
future of communications."
— Melinda Sherwood
Joe Anzalone, director of business development. 609-514-5148; fax,
609-514-5134. Home page: http://www.intellispace.com.
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