No, I don't mean a political zoo, I mean a telecom and data zoo. So far, I count no less than four telecommunications companies that are attempting to use the Democratic National Convention next week as a demo platform. Let's walk through the zoo:
- Qwest has the landline contract, they have been fixing up the convention center for well over a year, but have lately had to scramble to build fiber infrastructure to and within the stadium where Obama will give his acceptance speech. Supposedly, they don't have time to do more than run the fiber across the ground in some places and will have to defend it manually against cars, trucks, or maybe a rogue figureskater or two - haha.
- AT&T has the wireless contract, and they have been beefing up their own infrastructure of course. Must be quite an event to plan for, there will be tens of thousands of blackberries and iPhones in active use within a 1000 foot radius for 4 days. And if the devices don't work, the people complaining will be those from American society who have demonstrated the loudest mouths.
- Level 3 will be handling both the streaming and video broadcast, one of their highest profile CDN projects. They need to pull this one off without a hitch I'd say, but if they do it should give them a credibility boost in their effort to enter the CDN space. From the broadcast perspective, Level 3's Vyvx has been doing this sort of event for ages. They have strung some 5 route miles of fiber just for this event, I wonder if any of it is in those bundles Qwest has running across the ground...
- Now insurgent WIMAX provider Nth Air is trying to get a piece of the action. According to TelephonyOnline, they will be offering fixed wimax connections to attendees in competition with both AT&T and Qwest. Attendees will have to set up a CPE, so we are talking about journalists mainly I'd guess, but still it is not a bad way for a small company to raise awareness for its WIMAX rollout.
Heck, it's almost worth watching just to see if all the telecom and data works the way it's supposed to. With the sound off of course.