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Performance Networks hired to overhaul technical infrastructure at Ally Pally

Performance Networks hired to overhaul technical infrastructure at Ally Pally

Iconic entertainment and sports venue, Alexandra Palace, has engaged Performance Networks, one of the UK’s leading specialist networking and WiFi providers, to complete an overhaul of its WiFi and switching infrastructure.

The work, which was completed towards the end of 2020, involved an installation of a new bespoke WiFi and switching solution at the north London building, replacing the existing system that had been in place since the 2012 Olympics when it was the chosen base for the Dutch athletes and supporters during the duration of the Games.

Nottingham and London-based WiFi consultancy firm Performance Networks was chosen to complete the project due to its proven expertise in the sector, which includes providing a new WiFi solution for the Manchester Central complex in 2018.

Will Evans, director at Performance Networks, believes the technical infrastructure overhaul will support Alexandra Palace in a number of different ways moving forward, including how they run events in the future - especially in a post-COVID-19 environment.

Notably, the new set-up will allow Alexandra Palace to seamlessly host thousands of guests at any one time on its network,

Will said: “Alexandra Palace is one of the most iconic buildings in the UK and we couldn’t be happier to have supported their management team with the installation of their new WiFi solution.

“The management team now benefit from a WiFi network they can trust to run their operations and keep their guests online, in a world which has never relied more on being connected.

“The solution gives the venue a single unified platform for management and visibility of WiFi and wired networks, which was a key goal for their team and especially important in such a large and complex building. We’ve provided a system that’s meticulously designed to cover the width and depth of the venue, providing a WiFi network built around capacity that is fit for purpose across all areas - no matter what or even how many events it is hosting at any one time.

“Ally Pally is a venue that hosts thousands of visitors in a dense space and its WiFi wasn’t in a position to cope with that before. In the future, once the pandemic restrictions allow, the venue will once again be attracting guests in large numbers and they’ll do so with a slicker and more secure online connection.

“This installation has also opened the door to Ally Pally being better positioned to adopt a digital mindset operationally and enhance their opportunities with how they run events across the venue in the future.”

With its entire existing infrastructure requiring an upgrade, Performance Networks designed and installed a custom-fit Commscope/Ruckus solution for the Grade I and Grade II listed buildings which provides guaranteed coverage and performance for Ally Pally’s management team, as well as visibility across the whole venue from one central location, covering inside and outside its facilities.

The listed and varied nature of the venue meant the design was crucial - particularly for areas such as the halls, theatre, and ice rink which are not only large, dense, spaces with high ceilings, but also do not allow mounting of hardware.

During the initial consulting phase with Nick Johnson, IT Manager at Alexandra Palace, Performance Network agreed on a creative solution that utilised bespoke brackets and different antenna patterns on existing rigging, enabling the building to host thousands of guests across its multiple facilities at any given time.

Nick said: “We welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Palace each year for a huge array of events. We want their experience to be as enjoyable and seamless as possible, and that requires our technical support to be of the highest standard.

“We’re really pleased to have completed this project, which is quite an undertaking and brings the technical infrastructure of our 19th century Palace very much up to speed with modern-day requirements.

"Performance Networks' knowledge and expertise on WiFi solutions were invaluable to us during this huge and complex upscale project for us and we are delighted with the work they have completed over the last few months."

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