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Business in Poulsbo gets huge telecom boost

"POULSBO - Businesses in Little Norway got a shot in the arm this week as Sprint and the Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council unveiled the installation of a new Internet backbone point-of-presence. The Sprint POP is being considered by many as a big bang in terms of being a milestone in improve telecommunications access here. The new Tier 1 system offers top-level Internet access to the Poulsbo business community, while giving Poulsbo and Kitsap area business customers a competitive edge in the new economy, said Kevin Dwyer, Director of Business Recruitment and Marketing for the Kitsap Regional Economic Development Council of Kitsap. We really see this as putting Poulsbo and Kitsap County on the map, Dwyer remarked. It helps existing companies to grow and really increases the area's ability to attract new businesses. The new Poulsbo hub lets high-use business and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) link directly with the Sprint backbone instead of back hauling all of 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, Camp said, noting that a recent customer of Sprint's POP, Amouse.net, 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 and more employees in the area while cutting back on the number of people who commute to the east side to work, he observed. 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 extremely 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, explained Gary Macy, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Paladin Data Systems Corporation. Camp described the Sprint POP as an amino acid of technology, in terms of it being a building block for future telecommunications interests in the region. From the EDC's perspective, the new system is a tremendous step toward making Poulsbo and the county a real player in tough and fiercely competitive field of technology-based business. The EDC has been extremely active in promoting the need for advanced telecommunications in Kitsap County and throughout West Sound. It also worked closely with local Sprint officials to secure the Poulsbo POP. Sprint in turn, has been an active participant in the EDC-sponsored Regional Telecommunications Committee. The ad hoc group, comprised of individuals from area businesses and governments, 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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