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Spread The Wealth

Current solutions make it high time to link all your computers to the Internet.

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This story appears in the July 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

As soon as the Web sprang to life, many techno-pundits portrayed it as the great equalizer, a technology that would finally let small firms compete on an equal footing with major corporations. But guess what: As measured in Internet time, the majority of small businesses today remain stuck in the distant past.

International Data Corp., a Framingham, Massachusetts, market researcher, surveyed the technology habits of 1,011 small U.S. companies (defined as those with 100 employees or less) and found that some 93 percent of those that had two or more computers had an online connection. Great. But of those firms, a minuscule 5 percent had shared access--a local network connection that links all the computers a company's employees use to the Internet. Most small companies still used dial-up accounts, which are often expensive, inefficient and difficult to manage.

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