As e-commerce, cloud computing, file sharing, remote working, and other online functions have expanded, the need for resilient internet service has become critical for business operations and bottom lines. A major storm can disable operations throughout a major metropolitan area, and cause businesses to become desperate to regain service, so operations will not be disrupted for an extended time. On average, losing one-hour access to internet service will cost a Fortune 1000 company to lose $300,000 in productivity. Recent hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes have shown the vulnerability of internet infrastructure.
Property Owners and Developers Working to Standardize Resilient Internet Service
Some basic standards are being developed such as moving telecom equipment out of the basement to a floor that is above potential flood levels in a building. The downside is it reduces the building’s total leasable space but improves the reliability of telephone service and internet access for tenants. Property owners are seeing the need to move electronics out of the basement to avoid damage and disruption to digital services in commercial buildings. Other standard resiliency measures being taken include:
Installing Backup Generators on a Rooftop or other Flood-Proof Location
Property owners are ensuring those generators are connected to the building’s telecom infrastructure and establishing multiple sources for the building’s electrical grid through more than one substation. This may enable a building to have partial power during a storm or brownout. Commercial buildings are being outfitted with multiple, separate ISP lines.
Installing Flexible Conduit and Reinforced Cabinets for Telecom Equipment in Earthquake-Prone Areas
In Washington state, Nintendo outfitted its headquarters with a 5,000 square foot data center with seismic isolation and rotary uninterrupted power supply systems. In New York, where there are brownouts, some companies are pushing the internet and electrical resiliency to new standards. Hudson Yards development installed a 13.3-megawatt, natural gas generated cogeneration plant linked to a thermal loop and microgrid to serve its 28- acre campus at a cost of $200 million. The microgrid is able to disconnect from the regional grid during an outage to continue to provide power to Hudson Yards.
Partnerships are Being Considered to Create Communal Resources within Blocks and Neighborhoods
Most individual commercial developments lack the resources of Hudson Yard but are considering forming partnerships to withstand the tests of resiliency during the aftermath of a storm.
Leasing Requirements for Backup Generation On-Site
Tenants are asking for requirements of at least 400 square feet of floor space to put their own generator for their business. Tenants are also demanding primary and backup connections for telecom services in the building from different streets and different manholes. Service reliability is more and more becoming a make or break issue when leasing in a commercial building.
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