Sundance Wi-Fi

Posted by Sam Churchill on

As many as 40,000 festival patrons are expected in Park City during the two-week festival, for the Sundance Film Festival running Jan 20-30.

The IT folks at Sundance boosted connectivity for attendees at the film festival in Park City Utah, this year. First, they brought in about a dozen Comcast business lines, ranging from 100 Mbps to 22 Mbps, to provide about 300 Mbps of total backhaul capacity. AT&T provided extra cellular capacity in the form of COWs (Cellular on Wheels) or COLTs (Cellular on Light Trucks). They also got 45 Wi-Fi access points from Ruckus Wireless.

The Wi-Fi covers 12 indoor and outdoor venues and be offered as a free service to festival patrons. The access points provide three tiers of service. The general public can use the free Wi-Fi if they’re in range of any of the 12 venues, but VIPs also have access to priority use with greater bandwidth, he said. Staff also has a separate network that requires them to login so the IT department can track who is where doing what.

The entire Wi-Fi network across all venues includes 20 Ruckus ZoneFlex 7962 802.11n dual-band access points, 20 ZoneFlex 7762 802.11n outdoor dual-band APs, and two long-range 802.11n point-to-point bridges (for backhaul). A ZoneDirector 3100 with a 100 Mbps connection provides central management at Sundance Institute’s data center for all the remote sites, eliminating the need to have local controllers at each site.

There will use about $110,000 worth of equipment in the network, said Jared Griffith, CEO of Cinergy Wi-Fi, Ruckus’ integration partner on the project. The whole installation is expected to take five days. Dave Nichols, the senior network administrator for Sundance Institute, says they are tapping into Park City’s fiber optic backbone as well as Comcast’s local fiber and coaxial network to backhaul the Wi-Fi network from each site through connections ranging from 25-100 Mbps.

Justin Simmons, associate director of IT at the Sundance Institute, said he’s already seen 40 gigabytes pass in a 24-hour period over the network even before the festival began.

New for this year’s Festival is Gowalla, the location-based service app for Apple iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, or Palm, that lets you discover and share new places. During the Festival, their Twitter feed carries tweets from specially invited Tweetniks. Sundance.org has daily live streams.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Friday, January 21st, 2011 at 10:47 am .

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