Ruckus helps make Sundance into a Wi-Fi event

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Proving it's still in with the in-crowd, Ruckus Wireless will provide Wi-Fi connectivity for the third year in a row at the Sundance Film Festival, which intends to host numerous live-streaming events that moviegoers can view from their mobile devices via the Wi-Fi network.

"Mobility is a key theme at this year's festival, and our Wi-Fi network will take center stage," said Justin Simmons, associate director of technology services at Sundance Institute. "Not only do we expect to see a sharp rise in the number of mobile devices in use, we'll also be live-streaming many events this year for people to watch on their handhelds."

"Last year we saw a sharp increase in the overall number of devices being used, consuming about 25 percent more bandwidth than the previous year. With the greater number of tablets, combined with our mobile app, we expect to see data traffic skyrocket. Obviously, this type of usage will put huge demands on Wi-Fi, given the constraints of local cellular networks," he said.

The film festival's Wi-Fi network offloaded a daily average of 220 GB of cellular traffic during 2011, and that figure rose to about 290 gigabytes per day at the 2012 event, adding up to 2.9 terabytes of data over the 10-day event. "This year we expect to offload upwards of 350 gigabytes of data traffic each day," said Simmons.

Some 45,000 visitors are expected to attend this year's festival, which will run Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Attendees will be able to access the festival's Wi-Fi network for free at 15 official venues, including indoor and outdoor theaters in multiple cities. Many of the venues have outside wait-list tents and ticketholder queues where moviegoers will be able to access festival content via the Wi-Fi network while they wait.

The entire Wi-Fi network will encompass 100 Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor access points (APs). The Sundance Institute's technology services staff will remotely control all of the Wi-Fi sites over a private IP network using the Ruckus ZoneFlex management system, housed 60 miles away from many of the APs. Park City's fiber-optic backbone and Comcast's local fiber and coaxial network will backhaul Wi-Fi traffic from each site through connections ranging from 25-100 Mbps.

For some venues where Ethernet cabling doesn't exist, the festival will leverage Ruckus SmartMeshing networking capabilities to enable wireless connectivity. The institute is also employing Ruckus' long-range 802.11n point-to-point bridges for high-speed wireless backup from the Park City Marriott to its headquarters three miles away.

For more:
- see this Ruckus press release

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