New York's Con Ed sends power to a telecom hotel -- its own

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Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2001 11:18:35 -0600
Subject: New York's Con Ed sends power to a telecom hotel -- its own
From: NW View from The Edge <>
Reply-To: The Edge Help <>

02/27/01 - Today's focus: New York's Con Ed sends power to a telecom
                          hotel -- its own


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Today's focus: New York's Con Ed sends power to a telecom
               hotel -- its own

By David Rohde

Recently we reported that the rise of collocation spaces for carriers
and ISPs built largely on speculation has raised alarms at electric
companies. They fear that proposals for such concentrated uses of
power - up to 10 times the normal load for a commercial office
building - could tax their ability to build out their power grids.

So here's an irony for you. New York's Consolidated Edison Co., far
from shooing away collocation providers, has decided to become one

Actually, the idea for a new collocation facility in Manhattan comes
from Con Edison Communications (CEC), the electric utility's telecom
subsidiary. CEC participates in a major telecom hotel at 111 Eighth
Ave. in Manhattan, and last week announced it was offering 22,000
square feet of collocation space to ISPs, CLECs and value-added
service providers.

CEC has hired 15-year Bell Atlantic veteran Peter Rust as president
to lead the company's charge into the wholesale carrier's carrier
business - which, in New York, could include services to financial
firms that run big-time private networks.

CEC is running fiber up and down the island of Manhattan. It aims to
directly connect 1,000 buildings in the next four years, and put
itself within a few blocks of all the other buildings. It competes
with metro fiber players like Metromedia Fiber Network, whose new
long-haul buildout we wrote about last week
(, but
CEC is concentrating on lighting its own fiber for both pure optical
and SONET-ready services.

Among CEC's key suppliers are Cisco for its Cerent family of
next-generation SONET boxes running up to OC-48, and Nortel for its
OPTera metro optical switches supporting dense wave-division
multiplexing (DWDM).

CEC doesn't have religious fervor about which technologies to favor,
just a conviction that carriers in New York City need massive amounts
of capacity. It'll support TDM, Gigabit Ethernet and pure IP. It'll
also support DWDM, but only from POP to POP, not directly to the
enterprise. "I can't cost-justify offering wavelengths to the
building," Rust tells me.

Still, one of the things CEC will be promoting to service providers
is the ability to run directly into buildings where all the
enterprise customers are located. Rust says that his building model
leaves him less concerned about the typical problems with in-building
broadband service, centering around service providers who play a
chicken-and-egg game of waiting to serve a building until they have
signed up customers there.

That's largely a problem where service providers are trying to
cost-justify T-1 voice and data services with relatively scant profit
margins, he says. CEC and its carrier customers are going after
bigger fish. "We'll offer a T-1 if we're in a building anyway," says
Rust. "But we're not going to go into a building just for a T-1."

Regarding power requirements, Rust turns what others consider a
problem into an opportunity. Perhaps because New York already has
well-established carrier meet points, "there aren't that many collo
hotels in the city," he says. "There are a number proposed, but I
don't think they're all going to be built." The main point is this:
"There are options for power companies - to go into the on-site
generator business in these buildings, either primary or back-up."

Right now CEC is concentrating on the New York metro area, but it has
applied for necessary regulatory approvals to operate in states from
Maine to Washington, D.C. It's partnered with Neon Communications,
which providers long-haul fiber transport services linking the
population centers in the Northeast.

To contact David Rohde:

David Rohde, managing editor of Network World's The Edge, has
been covering and analyzing telecom issues - from plain old
telephone service to optical networking and everything
between - since 1990. As a senior editor for Network World,
he has specialized in frame relay, ATM and IP services,
traditional and packet-switched voice services, and
computer-telephony integration. David also analyzed local
and long-distance tariffs and wrote rate-database documentation
for the Center for Communications Management Information.
He writes the popular "Eye on the Carriers" column every week
in the Network World print edition. You can reach him at


Our most recent report about the power issue affecting collocation

A recent report by Network World Senior Denise Pappalardo about
AT&T's new Ultravailable Broadband Network service based on the
Nortel OPTera equipment

Our optical newsletter's most recent report on Cisco's optical

Archive of the View from the Edge columns:

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