Smart City Networks connects record number of attendees to WiFi for ISTE

More Than 16,000 Attendees to Log On to WiFi Simultaneously

Smart City Networks successfully provided WiFi service for more than 16,000 attendees at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) annual conference held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado on June 27-30, 2010.

Typically, only about 10 percent of attendees at convention center events use WiFi regularly. Smart City expected the ISTE 2010 event to have a greater demand for wireless Internet, but ultimately, the usage rate was record-setting. Close to 90 percent of the 18,500 ISTE 2010 attendees utilized wireless Internet services during the event.

“While the demand for WiFi during ISTE 2010 was tremendous, our pre-event preparation and planning ensured that everyone stayed connected,” said Mark Haley, president of Smart City Networks. “We began working with the ISTE staff months in advance to identify the areas and time frames that would attract heavy WiFi traffic. Led by our local general manager, Debbie Olivas, our team was then able to meet the unique needs of ISTE and provide the necessary technology to ensure reliable wireless coverage for all attendees.”

Smart City has provided Internet services for prior conferences, but this year, the event’s demand for WiFi doubled. Attendees are very tech-savvy, and ISTE promoted active back channel communications through live Twitter feeds and the ISTE 2010 Blog Roll. Additionally, ISTE offered a specific space for attendees to use their laptops, resulting in more than 5,000 wireless Internet users in one room.

To meet this increased demand, Smart City added 500Mb of Internet access, provided 138 new access points, and replaced every switch in the building. Haley said Smart City also installed 10 Bluesocket Blue Secure controllers, eight more than the usual number at the facility, to handle the anticipated traffic. All of these technology upgrades sought to ensure a fast and reliable WiFi connection regardless of how many users were online at once.

“Our technology needs were extensive, and the Smart City team offered superior support to our event,” said Ryan Roberts, director of technology at techIT Solutions, LLC, ISTE’s technology partner. “The WiFi infrastructure and performance was unparalleled given ISTE’s WiFi demands. We could not have done it without Smart City.”

Smart City Networks has provided the event technology services at the Colorado Convention Center for over a decade.

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