Free high-speed Wi-Fi at Preakness coming
At the Preakness Stakes on May 21, using your smartphone to watch and send videos and photos and update your online social network accounts should hopefully be smoother than ever, thanks to a Wi-Fi network that organizers plan on deploying for race fans.
Tough cellphone and Internet connectivity at big events is often a fact of life, as thousands of people with handheld devices concentrated in a relatively tight area can overwhelm cellular towers.
The Preakness is one of horse racing's biggest annual events where tens of thousands of people show up, party in the infield and enjoy a day at the races. Organizers are striving for more technological sophistication at the event, and encouraging people to interact with the event via their mobile phones.
(Personally, I'd love to see every race horse "tagged" with a GPS chip, so we can all track the races in real time with an app on our smartphones.)
Did you know: The Preakness has its own smartphone app now.
The Maryland Jockey Club, which owns Pimlico, has chosen Ruckus Wireless, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-company, to install the high-capacity Wi-Fi network on the 70 acre Pimlico site for Preakness. A local ISP, Believe Wireless, is providing the Internet connectivity.
For the Wi-Fi tech geeks out there, Pimlico will "deploy 50 Ruckus ZoneFlex 802.11n dual-band access points (APs) managed by a centralized wireless LAN controller. The APs located in the infield section are mounted in tents and will connect to Ethernet switches and fiber and copper cabling installed underground," according to a news release.
Imagine if this infamous Preakness video -- the "running of the urinals" -- could have been broadcast live by people using their smartphones?
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