Everything you know about business location may be changing — and the Auckland CBD power crisis has accelerated the process.
Connectivity has come to the fore as Auckland businesses have been forcibly dispersed by the lack of electricity in their usual locations. The result? That a good location in Auckland probably means one with a line of sight to the Sky Tower.
Corporate ISP Netlink last week completed its transfer to Telstra, which will provide it with 4Mbit/s of IP bandwidth nationally, and Auckland manager Gary Connolly says the Aussie telco is keen to transfer its major account holders to wireless links from the Sky Tower.
As a result, says Connolly, “we have to question whether we need to be where we are in Queen St, especially if power supply isn’t going to be guaranteed. Our main issue could be whether we can see the Sky Tower. We talked to Talnet about a similar idea but unfortunately their parent company in the US went under before we could proceed.”
Alternatively, you could just move in with your ISP. Internet Group (Ihug) director Tim Wood began advertising “Internet-ready office space” in Ihug’s new Newton Rd premises just as the power crisis began, and he says he has had many inquiries, from both businesses and real estate agents.
Tenants to take up space include the editorial departments of Computerworld and PC World, who have been driven out of IDG’s Queen Street office by the uncertainty of the power supply.
“Tenants get LAN-speed Internet access, but we limit it to email and browsing,” says Wood. “If they want to run a server, we’ll house it across the road in our network centre. It seems a popular idea. An agency which approached us had a client who’d actually been looking for something like it.”
Ihug also uses the Sky Tower, to deliver its high-speed StarNet service, and Wood says some corporate clients, such as the Parnell-based Saatchi and Saatchi, have been disappointed to discover that they do not have a line of sight to the Sky Tower.
David Dix, director of KC Internet Services, which is already “distributed” across several locations in West Auckland and one in the CBD, says Telstra has also spoken to him about replacing his current raw 2Mbit/s Telecom service with a radio link, and offered him multi-directional antennae to connect with his various bases.
Telstra may also be seeing a wireless service as an answer to Telecom’s dial-up IPNet network. It is conceivable also that building owners may soon offer connectivity as a utility in the same manner as other building
services. “The main problem is that the rental on the Sky Tower is high,” says Dix. “If you’re thinking about it in terms of the power crisis, you do have to ask whether you’re going to spend this much money, and whether it’s going to happen again.