ARC expands fiber network to several metro areas

Allied Riser Communications Corp. (ARC-Dallas, www.arcbroadband.com) recently signed agreements with major real estate companies in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Chicago

May 1st, 2000

Allied Riser Communications Corp. (ARC-Dallas, www.arcbroadband.com) recently signed agreements with major real estate companies in New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Chicago to bring Internet-protocol (IP)-based broadband services to office buildings in those areas.

While one of ARC's latest coups is the design and installation of the fiber-optic riser in Chicago's Sears Tower-at 110 stories high, the tallest commercial office building in North America-the company typically targets small and medium-sized businesses. "Fifty or fewer desktops is our sweet spot," says Tom Eppes, vice president of operations. "That group is particularly under-served by the telecommunications industry because they are small. Typically, they have to pay for their own connection or have to resort to dial-up access or lower-bandwidth access. We provide a service that benefits all the tenants in the building equally."

ARC specializes in the design of the riser portion of the network and subcontracts the installation to cabling contractors. It owns and operates the network after installation. The riser cabling consists of 62.5/125-micron multimode fiber-optic cable that connects to the customer's existing local-area-network (LAN) switch or hub. If no LAN is in place, ARC can provide the horizontal portion of the cabling-usually Category 5.

"We make small tenants look big," explains Tom Guthrie, senior vice president of network engineering and operations. "They don't have to do dial-up or fractional T1 to break the bandwidth bottleneck. We give them a bigger pipe and structure the services we offer. We're glad to sell fiber to a 10-person firm." ARC's network provides "always-on" high-speed Internet access, virtual private networking, business television for display on computer desktops, enhanced conference-calling services, and other broadband data services.

At 10 Mbits/sec, ARC's standard offering is about six times faster than a 1.554-Mbit/sec T1 or digital subscriber line. For customers who need greater speed, the network infrastructure can be scaled in multiples of 10 Mbits/sec-up to 1 Gbit/sec.
-Catherine Varmazis

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