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Situation:

  • Washington, D.C., business incubator provides flexible office space to its member startups
  • “Instant-on” service model allows members to get to work immediately

Challenge:

  • Provide large amount of Internet bandwidth that can handle individual needs of member businesses and rapidly scale to support growth
  • High-quality phone service with advanced messaging features and ability to add lines easily

Solution:

  • Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet
  • Comcast Business VoiceEdge™
  • Comcast Business Voice
  • Comcast Business TV

Results:

  • Scalable, high-capacity Internet service that can meet the varied needs of member businesses
  • Innovative cloud-based voice service with advanced phone features
  • TV with a full line-up of HD channels

Businesses Accelerate Growth with “Instant-on” Support and Collaborative Initiatives

Located only blocks from the White House, the business incubator 1776 provides the operational support and flexible office space that startups need so they can focus on growing their businesses and making an impact in Washington, D.C.

As an “instant-on” facility, 1776 allows more than 400 employees from over 200 businesses in the education, energy, health and government industries to access ready-to-use operational services such as enterprise-class bandwidth and cloud-based voice, providing them with the connectivity they need to innovate and also tap crucial resources that are critical to success.

“Having an advanced technology infrastructure that we’re able to provide to our members the minute they walk in the door is a large part of what makes our property so appealing to these fast-growing start-ups,” said Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776.

1776 also supports its members through mentoring, networking events, corporate connections to capital, seminars and more – all aimed at fostering growth for companies tackling some of our world’s greatest challenges. Wanting to further that collaborative initiative on a broader scale, 1776 founded the Startup Federation, a global network that includes some of the world’s top business incubators. Members of participating Startup Federation offices – including the Philadelphia-based Benjamin’s Desk, which is also powered by Comcast Business – can use any other member facility while traveling, nurturing widespread collaboration and providing a multi-city office solution for today’s mobile workforce.

Members Have Wide-ranging Technological Needs; Require Scalable Bandwidth

The workdays of 1776’s members mirror those at almost any other startup. Nearly every member depends on cloud-based applications for finance, human resources, customer relationship management and other critical business operations. They use as many as three devices during their workday at 1776, alternating between laptop computers, smartphones and tablets. And they work long hours, meaning that at any time of the day or night, some members could be conducting meetings via videoconference while others could be downloading large files or using cloud-based office productivity applications.

1776 needed a scalable, high-capacity Internet connection that could meet the collective bandwidth demand of all of its members and provide them with the performance and reliability they need to leverage cloud and communications services at any hour of the day. 1776 didn’t want slow Internet speeds to hamper members who need to keep projects on schedule as they grow their businesses. Not to mention, 1776 also looks to constantly grow, thus needing a scalable Internet connection to support the addition of new physical and virtual members in the future.

“Washington, D.C., is a city that runs on “who you know”, and it’s crucial to make a strong first impression. Our members are just starting out and trying to make lasting impressions in highly competitive government sectors and other industries. They can’t afford to lose time dealing with an on-site network or data storage. They want to walk into our facility and instantly connect to the cloud, so that’s why a reliable Internet connection is critical to their businesses and to ours,” said Harris.

1776 also wanted a hosted voice system so that it could offer a high-quality phone service that would be easy to maintain and provide the ability to add new lines for new members without the hassle of on-site equipment. And 1776 wanted high-definition (HD) television service so members and their visiting clients could get the latest news and also enjoy live sports programming during their workdays.

Comcast Business Delivers 1 Gbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet, Cloud-based Voice and HDTV

Wanting to minimize infrastructure and costs, 1776 selected Comcast Business to meet the many diverse technological needs of its members.

Comcast Business installed a 1 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) Ethernet Dedicated Internet connection to give 1776 the scalable capacity it requires to meet the varied and dynamic online needs of its many members. With Comcast Business providing a dedicated high-capacity Internet service, 1776 members can download and upload large business-related files, while other members can simultaneously stream videos and access the many cloud services that make their businesses run.

“There’s an expectation in business today that everything should be instantaneous and the Internet should be accessible at any time. Whether it’s on a laptop, tablet or smartphone, our members want instant access to the file-sharing services and cloud applications that power their businesses. Comcast Business gives us a scalable Ethernet infrastructure that delivers impressive Internet speeds so that our members can focus on their work,” said Harris.

1776 also offers some of its members access to Business VoiceEdge, Comcast Business’ cloud-based voice and unified communications (UC) service. Business VoiceEdge is delivered over dedicated bandwidth and thus doesn’t have to fight with the high volume of video conferencing and data traffic traveling over the 1776 EDI connection, resulting in a higher quality voice service.  Those members using Business VoiceEdge have the ability to make unlimited nationwide phone calls and access voicemail – even the ability to receive voice messages as email – from anywhere. Members can also see all of their work contacts across their Business VoiceEdge-enabled devices, and have their business calls follow them on their mobile phones. 1776 can also add as many lines as it needs to accommodate new members. Other members can make the most of Comcast Business Voice, Comcast Business’ full-featured telephone service that includes three-way conference calling and call-forwarding capabilities.

And 1776 members and their clients can take in HD programming on eight large televisions with Comcast Business TV delivering the latest news and big sporting events.

Added Harris: “Our members are aggressively expanding their businesses and will eventually go out on their own, but while they’re here, they take advantage of the quality and performance of Comcast Business’ Ethernet Dedicated Internet service and the benefits of the phone and TV services. We’re the place to be for entrepreneurs tackling big world challenges. Instrumental to this success is, in many ways, that Comcast Business allows us to be an ‘instant-on’ facility where our members can get right to work and not have to worry about IT issues.”

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