Friday 9 December 2016

'You can take the Web Summit out of Ireland...' - Wifi woes follow Paddy Cosgrave to Lisbon

Published 07/11/2016 | 19:08

The Web Summit got off to a mixed start in Lisbon tonight when the venue's wifi cut out on stage just as founder Paddy Cosgrave tried a live demonstration.

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"I don't think it's working," said Mr Cosgrave from the stage in front of an estimated 15,000 attendees.

"Let's not worry about that. We'll try again later."

The glitch came just as Cosgrave was introducing the Portugese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa.

A later attempt at performing the onstage demonstration succeeded.

A spokeswoman for the Web Summit later said that the initial demonstration did not fail because of wifi but because of "a glitch in Paddy's phone".

Wifi strength has been the bane of the Web Summit's existence in its seven years since it originally kicked off as a small conference of 400 people in Dublin.

Two years ago, the wifi collapsed in the RDS causing a debate between Web Summit organisers and the venue.

This year's event was forced to delay its kickoff by 30 minutes after a surge of late entrants. Mr Cosgrave said that 3,000 people didn't make it into the 15,000-seater Meo arena, where the conference's main stage is located.

Some angry delegates took to social media to complain about being "locked out" of the event, although Web Summit organisers had warned of heavy demand in advance and that registered attendees should turn up early.

Mr Cosgrave said that over 53,000 people have registered for this year's Web Summit, which is being held outside Dublin for the first time.

The event will feature Tinder founder Sean Rad, Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer and actor Joseph Gordon Levitt.

3,000 Irish people have travelled over to the event.

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