Poulsbo business gets telecom boost

"Sprint and the Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council recently unveiled installation of a new Internet backbone point-of-presence. The POP is expected to improve telecommunications access in North Kitsap County.The new Tier 1 system offers top-level Internet access to the Poulsbo business community, while giving Poulsbo and Kitsap businesses a competitive edge in the new economy, said Kevin Dwyer of the Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council.We really see this as putting Poulsbo and Kitsap County on the map, Dwyer said. It helps existing companies to grow and really increases the area's ability to attract new businesses.The new hub lets businesses and Internet service providers link directly with the Sprint backbone, instead of routing their Internet traffic to another city. Prior to the implementation of the new system, Seattle was the nearest location that offered the advanced service.It's a lot more cost effective than back-hauling, said Camp, noting that a recent customer of Sprint's POP,, reported savings of 60 percent over its old system. I had no idea (the savings were) so high.According to Camp, one of the major advantages of the T-1 is its reliability - something that was lacking with the Seattle-based lines.Businesses don't want uncertainties on any level, Dwyer added. This reduces that level significantly.The new POP also offers the region's technological industries the chance to grow, keeping more employees in the area while cutting back on the number of people who commute to the east side to work.Having broadband Internet access easily accessible in Kitsap County will allow the region to leap frog into the new economy, said Dwyer. It's one key element that has been missing in our efforts to recruit high-tech businesses, he added. With Sprint and other communications investments now in the works, Kitsap has an opportunity to excel in the information age and not be left behind.Paladin Data Systems in Poulsbo became the first company to take advantage of the new service, Camp said, noting that the initial results bode well for the future.The additional Internet bandwidth available to Paladin from the SprintLink connection in Poulsbo is key to our ability to expand into additional service offerings and will also allow us to house more developers in our Kitsap County facilities, said Gary Macy, Paladin's executive vice president.Camp described the Sprint POP as an amino acid of technology, a building block for future telecommunications interests in the region.The EDC has been active in promoting the need for advanced telecommunications in Kitsap County and throughout West Sound, Dwyer said. It also worked with Sprint officials to secure the Poulsbo POP. Sprint has participated in the EDC-sponsored Regional Telecommunications Committee. The ad-hoc group, composed of area bussinesspeople and government officials, meets twice monthly to discuss telecommunications issues.This is about competition, Dwyer said of the Sprint POP. It's about leveling the playing field an inch at a time - except this is like a couple of yards. "

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