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Raleigh Convention Center promises “Super Connection” for Internet Summit

October 27th, 2011
Internet Summit 2010

Attendees at the 2010 Internet Summit at the Raleigh Convention Center. The RCC promises a "Super Connection" able to handle the large crowd expected for the 2011 event Nov. 15-16.

Tired of trying to nab an Internet connection at tech events? One thing attendees at Tech Media’s 2011 Internet Summit can look forward to Nov. 15-16 is a high speed  “Super Connection” for wireless access to the Internet at North Carolina’s Raleigh Convention Center.  So, they’ll be able to tweet, blog, and stay connected from the opening keynote to the final event.

For the thousands of gamers and spectators at the Raleigh Convention Center and the millions watching online, the recent Major League Gaming tournament that swept through the city last month went off like one of the carefully orchestrated Call of Duty maneuvers performed by the expert competitive gamers on hand.

But, as any gamer, IT expert or convention center marketing and sales team will tell you, there is so much more to the action than what you see on the screen.

For the IT crew at the Raleigh Convention Center, delivering an up to the minute, competitive and exciting experience for not only the gaming gladiators on the massive expo floor but the millions watching online meant developing creative solutions to meet both power, networking and A/V needs.

Major League Gaming puts on multi-million dollar productions in cities all over the country every week. To do that, they have to know their host venues can provide the strong IT backbone they’ll need to put on their show without a hitch.

No backbone. No Major League Gaming.

Gamers at the Raleigh Convention Center Major League Gaming Event. How many venues have enough wireless bandwidth for that?

Similarly, as the host venue for the Internet2 and Internet Summit conferences, our system has to go above and beyond what a typical convention center offers. For Internet2, that meant creating a super high speed fiber connection over multiple blocks to connect the conference to Raleigh’s fiber-optic point of presence (courtesy of MCNC).

The result is a connection at speeds of 10 gigabits per second.

These connection speeds recently allowed an innovator who invented an online communications system free of any lag or buffering to host a duet of classical musicians.

A violinist performed in the convention center while a cellist performed at Northern Illinois University —  in perfect unison.

“As the way we meet and learn changes, we’re also focused on ensuring that meeting goers can access the Web from everywhere and anywhere at the convention center,” says Dave Chapman, RCC’s IT director.

“Whether it is a meeting of 20 or 2,000, meeting planners can be confident that their attendees will be able to access the Web and the information they need wirelessly.  It’s all part of what our team thinks of as “Super Connection.”

“And by “team,” we don’t just mean us lovable geeks in the IT office.”

He adds, “Everyone — from sales staff to docents to convention center directors — are now to some degree on the tech team.  It’s key that we all understand at least the basics of our tech-savvy customers’ expectations, and be able to participate in the process of finding solutions or at least communicating those solutions to the client.”

Planners saw the need for advanced wireless connections

Internet Summit crowd

The annual Tech Media Internet Summit draws a large number of attendees. This year they will hear from more than 120 digital media thought leaders.

Tech prowess is now an important differentiator in a crowded market.  The designers of the convention center in Raleigh anticipated this dawning age of Super Connection.

From the miles of internal multi-mode and single-mode fiber to the beefy Cisco network hardware to the fiber data connections to multiple carriers including AT&T, Time Warner, TW Telecom, and MCNC, RCC can deliver on needs large and small.

For MLG, delivery meant syncing up the hundreds of gaming systems, monitors, speakers, headsets and controllers so the competitors could throw down in their virtual worlds all while their glories and defeats were broadcast all over the real world.

It also meant ensuring play by play, hit by hit and magical spell by magical spell could be broadcast by on-hand color commentators.

So, as you grab a hold of that controller and practice for next year’s tournament or look around for a venue to host your next tech conference, you can rest assured that RCC can put you and thousands more online, the RCC experts say.

The 2011 Internet Summit is the largest ever, with 120 digital media and Internet business thought leaders presenting over the two-day event.

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