SXSW Taps Austin Companies for High-bandwidth Internet

  • Alpha Omega Wireless
  • Alpheus Communications
  • RightRound
AUSTIN, TX - With thousands of music, film and interactive fans pouring into Austin, each carrying two or three mobile devices to catch streaming video and stay connected with social media networks, South by Southwest (SXSW) 2013 needed Internet access like never before.

The legendary entertainment venue turned to its primary Internet consultant, Austin-based RightRound LLC, which was created in 2005 to deliver Internet services at SXSW including attendee WiFi, video streaming, and event production, and two other local companies, Alpheus Communications, a provider of Texas metro-regional fiber and networking solutions, and Alpha Omega Wireless, an integrator of complete end-to-end wireless backhaul networking technology and solutions, to design and implement a 1 Gbps data circuit to support the needs of SXSW events, exhibitors and attendees.

Alpheus Communications provided 1 Gbps Internet access from its network hub/data center on East 6th Street in Austin and delivered connectivity directly to many venues. In addition, Alpheus’ bandwidth was extended wirelessly via Alpha Omega Wireless to venues beyond the SXSW host hotel in downtown Austin.

“It’s really good working with an enterprise-grade carrier like Alpheus, rather than a consumer-based service provider. When you work with Alpheus, you know their goal is to deliver bulletproof Internet connectivity, and that’s what SXSW needed,” said Cliff Skolnick, director and network architect at RightRound. “We also love that Alpheus is a local company. You can’t dismiss the value of daily, face-to-face conversations with Chase Sadler at Alpheus – that’s where our best ideas came from.”

In addition to overall project management, RightRound is the network solutions expert for SXSW, which has a long-standing relationship with Skolnick. RightRound provides services and equipment that exhibitors, sponsors and performers needed to properly deploy for streaming their events and performances.

Connecting Temporary Venues
As many of the SXSW venues are temporary, including tents set up in parking lots, clients often only need Internet access for a day or even a few hours. That challenge was met by Austin-based Alpha Omega Wireless, which delivered Alpheus’ Internet access via a microwave, point-to-point connection from the Alpheus network hub/data center to the SXSW host hotel in downtown Austin. From atop this 31-story hotel, Alpha Omega Wireless extended Alpheus’ Internet access via point-to-multipoint wireless connection to 30 to 40 venues where the firm also delivered high-density Wi-Fi that attendees accessed free of charge.

Demand for Internet access during SXSW shows no signs of slowing. With just a casual look around the events, attendees each have at least two IP-enabled devices for watching streaming video, blogging and posting to their favorite social media sites.

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