Wifi at LeWeb as in any “geek” conference has always been a challenge given the size: 3,000 geeks with many devices on themselves, uploading and downloading loads of pics, video and other stuff. Some of them challenge the network on purpose for fun, others download their itunes movies during the conference and suck the bandwidth… It’s a challenge.
We managed for the last two years to get a fiber optics 1GB/s line into LeWeb venue thanks to our awesome friends at Neo Telecoms that Xavier Niel introduced us himself. It’s a huge pipe and costly, but I think we never exceeded more than 15% of the available bandwidth at any point. That’s not the issue anymore.
Wifi worked great at LeWeb the last three years as it was manager by our friend Gary Shainberg and his team at BT but unfortunately Gary isn’t at BT anymore and they don’t seem to be doing that, it was a favor.
The incredible team of Meraki also helped immensely and I think they will, again. But gear and bandwidth aren’t enough, we need a team that installs the devices, the whole network, set them up and manages them during the conference to ensure the wifi network stays up smoothly despite 5,000 to 10,000 devices connecting simultaneously.
I have been asking for recommendations, we are looking for a team that can manage the whole network for this year’s LeWeb on dec 7-8-9 and yes, we have a budget for this, we want to ensure excellent quality as we had for a few years while keeping, of course, the costs reasonable.
I am gathering on this post the different options you guys are recommending, we will do a price and reference comparison and then select a supplier. We are happy to give a huge visibility to the partner who will help us. LeWeb is entirely managed by my wife so we won’t be able to take crazy budgets, but we want to be faire and LeWeb can also give a great advertising to the partner who will manage to do it, as Gary and his team did.
I will likely update the post with the options I see. Of course we will look for a team with experience with 1,000s of attendees at events, given the complexity.
Feel free to email me at loic at seesmic dot com if you have ideas.
thanks in advance!