Nortel Networks is in the process of building the country's first community planned and designed specifically for teleworkers. The community will be located in southern Maderas County near Fresno, California, around 180 miles from Silicon Valley.
The community, called Rio Mesa, will consist of 30,000 single-family homes and will accommodate 110,000 people. In addition to such amenities as shopping centers, golf courses and a hotel, the community will be equipped with a high-speed voice, video and data network which will connect resident teleworkers as a group to their enterprises.
Why is Nortel investing its resources in such a community? Because telework is a significant factor at the company. 20% of Nortel's employees telework at least one day a week. In addition, 1500 employees apply every month for teleworking opportunities, and of those, the company is able to accommodate 1,000. In all, Nortel saves about $20 million a year as a result of teleworking. But, the issue for employees is the high cost of housing in Silicon Valley -- usually too high for many of Nortel's workers. However, homes cost far less in Maderas County, where the planned community is to be located, and Nortel plans to market this new e-Village to its own employees.
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