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And Make It Quick

I need a high-speed phone line, but my office is in a residential zone.

Question: I'll be running an office out of my apartment and need a high-speed phone line. The telephone company tells me I need to be in a commercial zone to get one of these lines. Is it possible to find residential rental properties that will allow for this?

Stephanie Lee

Via e-mail

Answer: Although equipping a home office with high-speed phone lines is increasingly common in many parts of the country, your state may have regulations limiting access to such services. Fortunately, there are a variety of options for high-speed modem connections. Standard options such as ISDN (integrated services digital network) and ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) are dependent on telephone service. ISDN is older and slower than ADSL, but it's less expensive and more widely available. You can also get access via cable and satellite. Cable modems are lightning fast, and bandwidth is especially high with satellite access.

Here's what we recommend: Contact your phone company again and ask to speak with a representative who can help you with home office or home business phone services. Discuss ISDN and ADSL specifically. Also, contact your cable company and the satellite services in your area about what they offer. Go with the most cost-effective method--the one with the greatest bandwidth and speed that fits your budget. If none of these services is available at this time, they soon will be--unless, of course, you live in a very remote area.

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This article was originally published in the September 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: And Make It Quick.

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