For GOP, Wireless Is MIA - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Business & Finance
News
8/31/2004
03:41 PM
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

For GOP, Wireless Is MIA

For their convention, the Republican Party eschewed Wi-Fi wireless networks in favor of 40,000 miles of cables that feed phones, high-speed Internet connections, and broadcast circuits.

NEW YORK (AP) -- The wiring at the Republican National Convention is rich enough to download the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in roughly 30 seconds. More noteworthy, though, is what the gathering lacks: Wi-Fi wireless networks for Internet access.

Max Everett, the convention's infotech director, considered Wi-Fi unproven technology that carries security risks and could interfere with remote-control technologies used by broadcast networks.

So Verizon Communications Inc. returned to the basics with cabling: Some 40,000 miles that snake through Madison Square Garden and the adjacent media center, feeding more than 5,000 phone lines, 300 high-speed Internet connections, and 140 broadcast circuits.

Thin red, orange, blue, and green wires jut out of racks of networking equipment hidden in one makeshift utility closet. Bundles of cables drop from the ceiling into skyboxes used by broadcasters. Wires poke through small holes on the floor of the main convention hall.

Making the wiring fit into the area's tight space required a careful study of the floor plan, said Karen M. Daidone, Verizon's project manager. Technicians will have only three weeks to rip everything out once the convention ends Thursday night.

Verizon's wireless unit, meanwhile, upgraded cellular equipment inside the Garden and throughout midtown Manhattan, including the train tunnels underneath the arena. Much of the equipment will stay afterward.

Verizon Wireless and Nextel Communications Inc. have trucks equipped with cellular transmitters on standby for any emergencies.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is providing free tablet PCs, handhelds, laptops, and printers, as the company did during the Democratic convention.

Compared to four years ago, there's less paper and greater use of computers to hold schedules, speeches, and other details, Everett said. Still, he doesn't want to rely too much on the most advanced technologies.

"The more technology you have out there, the more things that can break," Everett said. "When you're bringing in hundreds and hundreds of volunteers, you just want to make sure things are basic and simple enough so they can just walk in and start working."

Broadcast networks, on the other hand, are more willing to experiment.

CNN ordered microphones and earpieces that are wireless and custom-fitted to each reporter or crew member's ears. Older technologies pick up too much background noise to broadcast extensively from the convention floor, said David Bohrman, CNN's Washington bureau chief. CNN also ordered newer wireless cameras.

The increased reliance on wireless does raise the prospect for interference. So last week, broadcasters, law enforcement personnel, and other wireless users turned on their equipment simultaneously at full blast, so adjustments could be made.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll