With the ever-growing desire for Wi-Fi in public venues, Sussex Cricket took on the challenge of providing network coverage throughout ground and conferencing areas.
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Sussex Cricket Club is a complex ground made up of multiple buildings of offices, conference and meeting areas, hospitality boxes and the main stands for supporters to spectate. Much of the cabling and existing infrastructure was run in ducts under the pitch, which provided a huge challenge to provide high quality wireless to all those areas.
The scope was to provide full coverage to the site, with separate networks for guest access, staff access and short-term networks for conferences and music concerts. For match days, the wireless network needed to be able to cope with up to 7,000 spectators!
Focus Group has fulfilled the role of providing essential business services to the Club. Their staff, have been a pleasure to work with at all times, grasping our specific needs as we are clearly not the normal 9 - 5pm business.
Focus Group designed a thorough solution for Sussex Cricket Club taking into account the needs for infrastructure upgrades to support the requirement, the need for all cabling to be run for the solution and the requirements for data capture and social media integration.
An in-depth survey of the Club was undertaken to determine the current wireless coverage, test new locations and then scope potential new cable runs.
The first phase was to install the infrastructure. Focus Group provided a high speed 200Mb lease line connection to the Club and installed a Sonicwall Firewall to manage this connection. This allowed the Club to utilise all the 200Mb bandwidth and apportion different speeds to different areas of the Club.
New comms locations were installed through the many buildings with fibre links back to the primary network cabinet. Shorter CAT5 runs were then run from these locations to all the required access points. A huge amount of this cabling was run in ducts under the main pitch so huge care had to be taken to ensure the pitch was returned to its original state and all works had to be completed in a short period of time before the season started. Other cabling was discretely installed throughout the ground.
Enterprise grade infrastructure was installed through the ground to link all the wireless and corporate network. In addition, a mix of internal and external Ubiquiti access points were installed to provide the coverage itself.
Finally, Focus' social port was set up on the guest network - each visitor to the Club would be prompted to register for the wireless via email, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. This data was hugely valuable to the marketing team at Sussex as they were able to provide fans with updates on the Club and increase their presence on social media.
Focus Group provided the wireless solution in a relatively small time frame out of the Club's season and the results were fantastic. As the first match of the season rolled round, the results were instant.
Wi-Fi coverage was fantastic, there was no impact on the corporate network on match days that they'd had with the previous solution, and fans had access to high speed internet at all times.
The new backbone infrastructure has also enabled the Club to expand their office space on-site and extend the IT to areas previously cut off.
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