Music, film juggernaut SXSW contracts locally for data center, wireless Internet connectivity

April 23, 2013
“This year the partnership between RightRound, Alpha Omega Wireless and Alpheus has taken our events to a new level," said Scott Wilcox, director of technology for SXSW LLC.

Alpheus Communications (Austin, TX) provided 1GB Internet access from its network hub/data center on East 6th Street in Austin and delivered connectivity directly to many venues at the recent South by Southwest (SXSW) 2013 music and film industry event.

Along with Alpheus, SXSW relied on its primary Internet consultant, Austin-based RightRound LLC. In addition to overall project management, RightRound was the network solutions expert for SXSW, providing services and equipment that exhibitors, sponsors and performers needed to deploy for proper live streaming of events and performances.

“It’s really good working with an enterprise-grade carrier like Alpheus, rather than a consumer-based service provider," commented said Cliff Skolnick, director and network architect at RightRound. "When you work with Alpheus, you know their goal is to deliver bulletproof Internet connectivity, and that’s what SXSW needed. 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.”

Importantly, Alpheus’ bandwidth was extended wirelessly via Austin-based Alpha Omega Wireless to venues beyond the SXSW host hotel in downtown Austin. Alpha Omega Wireless was also contracted to design and implement the 1GB data circuit to support the needs of SXSW events, exhibitors and attendees.

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“Attendees should have the best interactive experience possible, and that means ensuring they can stream live video of performances, access social media and personalize their experience whenever and wherever they want," said Joe Wargo, president of Alpha Omega Wireless. "We are able to deliver the best network experience for SXSW because of Alpheus. They are right on 6th Street, so we’re able to hit their core network, directly to the Internet. We couldn’t get that service without Alpheus being local.”

Alpha Omega Wireless 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.

“Creating the networks to run SXSW Interactive, Film and Music has always been challenging,” concludes Scott Wilcox, director of technology for SXSW LLC. “This year the partnership between RightRound, Alpha Omega Wireless and Alpheus has taken our events to a new level. I’ve always wanted Wi-Fi at our conferences and festivals to be like electricity -- omnipresent and easy. I can’t say enough good things about these companies and the way they have worked so effectively together to help us achieve this goal.”

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