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Glitches Identified, C Spire Expects Improved Wi-Fi for Memphis

Miles of fiber optic cable and more than 800 access points make the wi-fi system at the Vaught work.

C Spire and Ole Miss officials say that the cause of service outages in the wi-fi network at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium this weekend were recognized as early as the first quarter of action against Louisiana-Lafayette.
“It’s important to note that you can’t replicate a full stadium when conducting a test of a complex technology undertaking like this,” said Wade Smith, C Spire vice president for operations and development. “Our technicians have identified the specific issues responsible for the coverage outage. We’ll continue to tweak and optimize the system and we’re confident that fans will see much better performance for the entirety of the game against Memphis.”
Smith said that seeing a large number of fans fans use their devices and enjoying the wi-fi during the first quarter of the Louisiana Lafayette game helped his team appreciate the potential of the connectivity upgrade. The project relies on 820 access points, 28 miles of cable and 6 miles of conduit to bring unprecedented wi-fi access to the Vaught. “With the complexity of this kind of system, there are almost an infinite number of potential failure points and the fact that we had the wi-fi network up for the first game was an achievement in itself,” he said.
Still, C Spire is not satisfied with its progress in duplicating a living-room data communication experience at Vaught-Hemingway. “The fans have a right to be frustrated with the outages, but we hope they’ll remember this is a huge learning experience and that the glitches they noticed last Saturday won’t happen again,” Smith said. The C Spire executive added that testing will continue with the Memphis game and optimum performance may take more time. He expects C Spire to meet their own lofty performance standards for the Alabama game and encouraged fans to continue to offer their feedback, positive or negative.
“We welcome comments and we learn from that input,” Smith said. “We expect the performance of the wi-fi system to improve every single game and the speeds of data coverage we’ve already seen is incredibly impressive.”
Once testing is complete, Vaught-Hemingway will replete the experience of using your mobile technology in your own living room.

From the Ole Miss perspective, patience is the name of the game is patience. “We feel good considering that C Spire has pinpointed the reasons for the outages and will continue to improve service as part of this test period,” said Michael Thompson, Ole Miss’ senior assistant athletic director for communication and marketing. “The team knew exactly what was wrong in the first quarter and now with some small tweaks, our fans will see a major improvement for the Memphis game. We are so close to providing our fans the premier data communications experience in the country and the speeds of transmission we’ve already seen are nothing short of awesome.”
Thompson added that the wi-fi upgrade that kicked off Saturday’s game courtesy of C Spire is not only standard-setting for the SEC, but the most cutting-edge on-site digital support technology installed anywhere in the country.
“Less than half of SEC schools have wi-fi in their stadiums at all,” Thompson said. “Everything we’ve researched tells us Ole Miss will have the most robust and technologically advanced stadium digital communication capability in the country.”
Andy Knef is editor of HottyToddy.com. You can contact Andy about this story at Andy.knef@HottyToddy.com.

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