Boston’s MCCA Muscles Up Wi-Fi Capability

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Boston, MA – A $2.6 million upgrade to the Wi-Fi system launched at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) will dramatically increase its speed and capacity, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA) announced.

The installation and testing of the new equipment will be completed in the Fall. In the meantime, planning will take place for a similar upgrade at Boston’s John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center to take place in 2016.

“Our goal is to operate the two most technologically advanced centers in the world,” said James Rooney, MCCA executive director. “We our confident that our latest investment in our wireless infrastructure will allow us to further exceed the expectations of our BCEC customers.”

The BCEC currently offers 516,000 square feet of prime exhibit space and is ranked 24th on the Trade Show Executive World’s Top Convention Centers roster. A $1.1 billion expansion project will increase exhibit space to roughly 850,000 sf, which would move it up to 13th on the WTCC  and just ahead of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. The ten year old BCEC would still rank below the ten major U.S. convention centers with 1 million sf or more of prime space. The project also includes a new 75,000 square-foot ballroom and 100,000 square feet of additional meeting space.

The new Wi-Fi plan for the BCEC is based on boosting the number of wireless access points in the building from 113 to at least 580, and also adding new switching and processing equipment and supports both 2.4 and 5 gigahertz devices.

The result will be a focused “high-density” Wi-Fi system that enables more users to connect to each access point and meets the 802.11ac standard. Current systems operate on a “coverage” basis in which signal strength is spread out over a wide area and is suited primarily for basic tasks, such as emails and web surfing. A robust Wi-Fi system also frees up the cellular telephone coverage in the area.

Reach James Rooney at (617) 954-2470 or jrooney@massconvention.com