Commercial landlords are tripping over each other as they race to retrofit for the Internet Age. But when it comes to providing Web access, Equity Office Properties Trust is ahead of the pack. Through a partnership with technology provider Allied Riser Communications Corp., Equity Office will have a third of its nearly 100 million-square-foot nationwide portfolio of buildings equipped with fiber-optic lines by yearend, with the rest set for rewiring by the close of 2001. That will give Chicago-based Equity Office and its business tenants the nation's first high-speed network extending door to door, coast to coast. "You're heading for obsolescence if you're not providing high-speed Internet access today," says Timothy H. Callahan, CEO of Equity Office. And you're missing a chance to make oodles of moolah. Equity Office can now charge top-of-the-market rents and expects to rack up $20 million in added revenue this year from ARC and other telecom partners. The deal's good for tenants, too. ARC charges just $100 a month for the first line, and no more than $40 for each additional line.

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