Tri-county panelists see NAP in Miami within a year
local Network Access Point, or NAP, will be up and running in a year
in downtown Miami, says Paul Anderson, incoming vice chairman of The
train is on the tracks," Mr. Anderson said at a tri-county economic
development breakfast in the Hotel Inter-Continental Miami Friday.
"This is well on its way to becoming a reality and could be as
much as a $500 million investment.
should be a matter of months," he said.
Anderson, who is also chairman of the board of trustees of Broward
Community College and vice president of government relations for JM
Family Enterprises, was among panelists who took part in a discussion
on "Regionalism: Working Together on Economic Development & the
Internet Coast," featuring representatives for agencies responsible
for economic development in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.
panel members were Richard Paul-Hus, vice president of business development
for Hypower Inc.; Frank Nero, president & CEO of The Beacon Council,
Miami-Dade County's official economic development agency and event
host; and Larry Pelton, president of The Business Development Board
of Palm Beach County.
it becomes a reality, panelists said, the NAP would be a central access
point for Africa, Europe and the Americas, and the fifth largest switching
station in the country.
become the focal point for electronic commerce," Mr. Pelton said.
"With the NAP we can see twice the row of information technology
companies. Now there are 6,000. I don't see why we couldn't see more."
of massive economic growth, Mr. Anderson said, are causing concern
among company leaders that the region would not be able to supply
incoming firms with enough trained workers in the high-tech sector.
work force doesn't exist for this type of growth," he said, "but
we have the ability to train the population. At Broward Community
College we've been establishing info-tech advisory boards and asking
these companies to help us develop the curriculum not what
they need today but what they need for the next year.
also working on contracts where company workers become professors
in exchange for enlisting students to work for them."
Nero and Mr. Pelton said they are also working with local school boards
to make sure students receive training early on.
owe it to the people of the Internet Coast to improve the quality
of education," Mr. Pelton said.
said studies show that by 2006 more than 50% of all city jobs will
be integrated with the Internet.
at the breakfast asked which company would run the NAP in the near
trying to get an Internet company to operate the NAP, but everyone
would be able to share it," said Mr. Paul-Hus, who also chairs
the Internet Coast's NAP subcommittee and is a member of an IT Florida
Paul-Hus said although a company has not yet been chosen, companies
such as BellSouth, EPIK Communications and Telefonica are vying for
solely-operated NAP, he said, is the way to boost Florida's Internet
switching center from a tier two to tier one status like those in
New York and San Francisco. He said that means the NAP's carriers
would be larger and the region would be able to leapfrog some of the
top NAP centers in the country.
now, Florida's closest Internet connection point was Washington, DC,
but with the Latin American Internet explosion, he said, it now makes
sense to localize the Internet backbone.
Nero said he is working with officials of Miami and Miami-Dade County
to get approval for operating the NAP.
the end of the day," he said, "the private sector decides
where the NAP will be. Now comes the tricky part: making sure this
goes from the investors' side to making it happen."