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PHOENIX-The folks of Advanced Radio Telecom Corp. are making some big claims. The provider is offering a no-wires-attached, high-speed Internet connectivity solution to building owners and their tenants. ART, a Bellevue, WA-based wireless IP, uses ring architecture to bring broadband internet access to clusters of office buildings.

There’s no digging up streets, tearing out walls or downtime to upgrade a building to fiber-optic-quality capacity, according to Mike Jones, the firm’s technical project manager in Phoenix. ART’s “invisible fiber” service provides IP Ethernet connectivity to a wide-area network at speeds ranging from 3 to 50 megabits per second—-3 Mbps is twice as fast as a T1 line–and up 155 Mbps for data centers and other applications requiring high-capacity bandwidth. Additionally, there’s no rewiring involved to increase capacity when a tenant’s bandwidth requirements change, as ART’s system can be reconfigured to provide up to 50 Mbps.

Best of all, the company is offering to install its services at no cost to building owners. The cost to users is lower than fiber optic service, according to Jones, who notes that once a building is’lit’(equipment installed), service can be provided within 10 days. The $100,000 capital outlay for equipment and installation is borne by ART.

The wireless ring–similar to a sonnet ring–is created by placing two radios on a building rooftop, which provides what Jones calls path redundancy. “Using ring architecture—-two radios on each building—-prevents any single point of failure on the system. If anything goes down, the customer has a second signal path,” he explains, noting that until now, this feature, which provides 99.999% reliability, was only available with fiber-optic technology.

Currently ART’s service is operational in Downtown Phoenix, the Central Corridor and in Mesa. However, it will become available at the Scottsdale Airpark and in Downtown Scottsdale during the first quarter of next year and for most clusters of buildings in the Phoenix area by the end of the second quarter.

According to Anthony Bontrager, VP of real estate for ART, the company plans to launch its service in 12 markets nationwide over the next year and will enter 40 markets over the next three years. Currently, ART’s technology is operational in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Houston, the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Seattle, Portland and Washington, DC. Nationally, the company has rooftop access to 5,300 buildings, with a total of 600-million sf.

The technology is currently being marketed by ART ISP partners in the Phoenix area, including ICF, Ibiz and CCS. However, the company will launch its own direct-sell component by the first of next year.

Additional information about ART technology and services can be found on the company’s Web site, at http://www.ipsp.com.

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