A telecom hotel is
|“||[c]onditioned floor space owned and operated by a commercial landlord for the purpose of hosting multiple service providers. Tenants may include the incumbent ILEC, competitive local exchange carriers (CLEC), Internet service providers (ISP), competitive access providers (CAP), Web hosting operations, or any other non-telecommunications commercial enterprises in need of floor space to support their electronic equipment.||”|
Telecom hotels can provide a variety of telecommunications functions, e.g., interconnection; Internet peering; and operational, administrative, and management interfaces. Typically, telecom hotels are established to enable telecommunications service providers to interconnect with one another to exchange information and traffic.
These locations exist, in part, as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires incumbent carriers to provide interconnection for competitive carriers. As interconnection implementation progressed, many incumbent carriers exhausted collocation space available to competitive carriers.
The functions of telecom hotels have expanded beyond a meet point for carriers. Many service providers have installed network elements typically found in a central office environment. The telecom hotel site then becomes the equivalent of several collocated central offices with equipment that serves a variety of functions. The nature of these functions may not be known to anyone other than the companies owning and operating the installed equipment.