Thursday 30 March 2017

RDS beefs up Web Summit wifi after previous debacle

Donal O'Donovan and Paul O'Donoghue

Wifi coverage was one of the issues Paddy Cosgrave raised in correspondence to the Department of the Taoiseach after the Web Summit announced its move to Lisbon next year
Wifi coverage was one of the issues Paddy Cosgrave raised in correspondence to the Department of the Taoiseach after the Web Summit announced its move to Lisbon next year

The wifi service at the RDS has been beefed up for next week's Web Summit, following problems last year.

The Dublin 4 venue has enabled Vodafone to enhance its "superfast" 4G services at the site for the tech conference.

Third-party wifi provider SignalShare has been confirmed by Web Summit as their wifi providers for the three-day event. For this year's event, Web Summit has taken exclusive responsibility for the build, operation and performance of the wifi network.

Visitors to the RDS, and the Ballsbridge area, will have access to Vodafone superfast 4G providing faster data speeds which will support high volume demand for live tweeting, file sharing and content streaming across the summit, organisers said. In addition to the wifi service, the RDS said it will be providing wired connections to all the stands at Web Summit over the three days.

The event had notable issues with wifi last year, with founder Paddy Cosgrave taking to the stage twice on the first day of the conference to apologise to attendees, many of whom could not connect to the internet.

The Web Summit is due to relocate to Lisbon, Portugal next year, moving outside of Ireland for the first time.

Despite the move Mr Cosgrave said that the company will remain based in Dublin, where it employs 130 people.

Mr Cosgrave released emails detailing correspondence between the company and the Department of the Taoiseach after the move was announced.

Wifi was one of the issues Mr Cosgrave raised in his correspondence. But the RDS "wholeheartedly rejected" comments regarding its approach to wifi supply, claiming it had invested in its digital infrastructure and saying it was the responsibility of the Web Summit to install and manage its own wifi service.

Organisers have expanded the company's events roster this year to include conferences in Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Belfast, while events in New Orleans and India are scheduled for 2016. The three-day conference in Dublin's RDS will have over 2,000 start-ups, 1,000 investors and 650 speakers.

Irish Independent

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