Smart City Networks keeps events connected at San Diego Convention Center

ISTE and Comic-Con highlight a summer of major events and record-setting connectivity

The San Diego Convention Center has had a busy summer of events, and Smart City Networks has kept the thousands of attendees and exhibitors connected, ensuring the success of each and every show.

In late June, more than 18,000 attendees and 500 exhibitors descended on the San Diego Convention Center for the annual convention of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

ISTE is a very tech-savvy event that demands one of the highest rates of WiFi connectivity of any show at a Smart City facility. This year, Smart City brought in an additional 2 gigabits (Gb) of bandwidth to meet the event’s anticipated WiFi demand. And as wired Internet is always the most reliable connection, Smart City laid over 18,650 feet of cable for the wired network connections.

Smart City Networks began planning with ISTE event management months in advance, but as needed, Smart City technicians could also quickly make network changes to address capacity needs.

Less than a month after ISTE concluded, the San Diego Convention Center welcomed more than 130,000 attendees for the 43rd Comic-Con International. Held annually in San Diego, Comic-Con is the largest convention in the Americas and the third largest in the world dedicated to the appreciation of the comics and related popular art forms.

Attendees of Comic-Con are accustomed to fast, reliable WiFi, and Smart City added more than 50 access points to accommodate an anticipated increase in connectivity via 3G cellular service. Exhibitors also utilized greater amounts of bandwidth this year, such as G4 TV, which utilized 12 megabits (Mbs) of bandwidth, along with phone lines and coaxial feeds for a satellite broadcast.

“We have worked with ISTE and Comic-Con for several years, and know that their attendees expect reliable and fast connections,” said Mark Haley, president of Smart City Networks. “We understand that attendees want fast Internet access to upload photos, blog or check email. As a result, we bring in the necessary equipment and upgrades to meet the higher demand of these major events.”

“ISTE and Comic-Con are two of the largest attended events that the San Diego Convention Center welcomed this year,” said Carol Wallace, president and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation. “Such large and technology-dependent events can pose connectivity challenges that Smart City has adeptly met every year.”

As the event technology partner for the San Diego Convention Center, Smart City continually works with facility management to ensure the connectivity needs of any event – large or small – are met. This summer, the facility welcomed a variety of high-profile events that included thousands of visitors, including Cisco Live in June and the Environmental System Research Institute (ERSI) International Users Conference in July. And visitors to the convention center now enjoy free Wi-Fi service available in the facility’s ground-level lobby areas, including Tides Restaurant, an amenity introduced by Smart City earlier this year.

Since 2000, Smart City Networks has provided the event technology services at the San Diego Convention Center. With offices and staff on property, Smart City Networks oversees the provision and maintenance of both wired and wireless Internet services throughout more than 2.6 million gross square feet of convention space and public spaces.


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