If you really want to be sure of having the latest in connectivity capabilities, why not meet where the Massachu-setts Institute of Technology Computer Lab meets? It's the Boston Marriott Hotel/Copley Place, and there are few hotels in the world that can match the brute-force bandwidth offered here.
The hotel has 60,000 square feet of meeting space, all of which is connectable via T3 lines that are part of the property's permanent infrastructure. That is not a misprint: Every one of the property's 35 meeting rooms can be connected to the Internet over a 45 megabit-per-second line--equivalent to 30 T1 lines. That's more than enough to run broadcast-quality video into a PC network. Because the installation is permanent, there is no muss, fuss, or hassle with outside contractors. Local Area Network installations are also easily created. In fact, as many as 1,000 PCs can be connected via the hotel's fiber-optic network.
Bandwidth Pioneer "We were the first hotel in New England to install a T1 line into our ballroom in 1995," says David Keamy, CMP, the hotel's director of marketing. The installation was made in response to the needs of the local market, including MIT and the variety of software and artificial intelligence firms that have made the Boston area home. "Before then, we found ourselves tripping over temporary cable installations all the time. So we made a $40,000 investment and upgraded." During 1997, Marriott's techies went at it again, and recabled the place to accommodate T3 service.
CSM Connections, too The Marriott has made sure its customers have the best connectivity options, but it is--at least, to date--also unusual in that it has made sure its employees are connected, too. "Every one of our managers is on the Internet," says Keamy. "If our customers want to communicate via e-mail, then we have to do it, too." The inability to reach conference service managers via e-mail has long been a gripe of meeting managers at high-tech firms.
Marriott didn't stop at the door to the hotel, either. "Once we got wired, we ran the Westin (nearby, at the other end of the Copley Place development) through our hub," says Keamy. "Now you can run videoconferencing or computer network presentations in both hotels."
In terms of physical connectivity, the Marriott is connected by enclosed walkway to the Hynes Convention Center/ Prudential Center complex, an enclosed space uniting the hotel with the Westin and Sheraton properties and the Hynes Convention Center.
In addition to its proximity to the 218,000 square feet of exhibit space at the Hynes, the 1,147-room Marriott has its own meeting space, including a 22,500-square-foot exhibition hall and a 23,400-square-foot ballroom, the largest in New England. There's a central printing facility, too, for running off hard copies of digital documents.
Heavyweight In-House ISP The dedication of the Boston Marriott Hotel/Copley Place to the highest levels of connectivity is reflected in its choice of in-house Internet service provider, too. HarvardNet was the first ISP in New England to file as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first to offer ADSL access, and the first to offer geographic load sharing of Web sites for disaster recovery. The company's network center is in Copley Place, just a short indoor walk from the Marriott.
ADSL is the acronym for asymmetric digital subscriber line. A digital subscriber line is public network technology that delivers high bandwidth over conventional copper wiring at distances up to 18,000 feet (5,488 meters) over a single copper twisted pair.HarvardNet was the first company offering ADSL in New England and now has the largest installed base of ADSL customers in the United States.