Miami Attracts No 5 Ranking In World Of Telecom Hubs
By Candice Ventra
A national magazine has ranked Miami as one of the top five telecommunications hubs in the world, ahead of cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, DC.
Miami was rated as the No. 5 telecom city on the globe in the Sept. 1 edition of America’s Network, based on criteria established by the editors.
In "Rating the World’s Top 20 Telecom Hubs," America’s Network said it used several criteria including access to global cables and satellite infrastructure, the presence of multinational and telecom investments, and telecom’s importance as an economic engine to a region. Based on that, Miami was ranked behind No. 1 New York City, No. 2 Tokyo, No. 3 London and No. 4 Los Angeles.
Fred Jackson, chairman of the telecommunications and information technology committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce One Community One Goal program and a business development executive for IBM, said the community should be proud of being ranked among the top five telecom hubs.
"It clearly puts us on notice that we are positioned to be a major player in the telecom and IT world," Mr. Jackson said. "As such we are going to have to build the workforce and the infrastructure and get the right underpinnings of a world class IT and telecom center."
Benjamin Finzi, COO and executive vice president for telecom infrastructure company EPIK Communications, said Miami’s close relationship with Latin America contributed to the ranking.
"The ranking is objective and is not based on predictors but on the amount of telecom traffic that goes between the cities," Mr. Finzi said. "The main reason is clearly the South American connection."
The ranking was based on a study by the Advanstar Telecom Group, experts said.
According to the report, Miami is a force in the telecom world because of the geographic advantage it offers Latin American businesses trying to obtain access to the US market.
Other US cities on the international list included Washington, DC, ranked No. 6; Chicago, No. 7; San Francisco, No. 8 and Dallas, No. 11.
"In the last decade, Miami has gone from being the pre-eminent port between the US and Latin America," according to the article, "to become the most important gathering of telecommunications multinationals and key telecom traffic routes facilities going into the region."
The magazine cites the proposed Technology Center of the Americas, a network access point that will provide optical switching technology for the Americas, as a key ingredient to help Miami move up in the rankings.
The center, which is being built by local developer Terremark at 50 NE Ninth St., will be operated by telecom company Telcordia. The center, scheduled to be complete by July 2001, will be organized by a consortium of telecom carriers.
"Now Miami has a limitation in Internet connectivity," EPIK’s Mr. Finzi said. "By creating the NAP we are taking on the challenge to make the Internet a much bigger component of telecommunications."
Although Los Angeles was ranked fourth in the article, high-tech Åber cities like San Jose and Santa Clara, CA Silicon Valley were not included among the top 20.
The chamber’s Mr. Jackson said Silicon Valley does not have a tier one Network Access Point.
"Even though there are three different NAPs in Silicon Valley the only tier-one NAP is in Los Angeles," Mr. Jackson said. "That indicates that a greater amount of IT traffic travels through Los Angeles."
Tier one refers to a network that is not carrier-specific.
Since the magazine’s assessment was made before the creation of the planned Network Access Point, Mr. Jackson said, Miami has a lot of opportunity to grow as a telecom center.
"There is," he said, "no telling where we will be the next time that survey is done." Details: AmericasNetwork.com.