WiFi Networking at Etihad Stadium

The Year 11 IT students are currently studying the topic of computer networks with a particular focus on wireless capabilities. To help them gain an understanding of how large venues cope with providing wireless internet to their customers, Mr Munro organised a trip to Etihad Stadium. This was the first trip of its kind with the Etihad network staff hoping that a successful visit would lead to more schools considering an excursion to the stadium. The students got a tour of the “Connected Stadium” with staff giving an overview of how free wifi is provided through a series of antennae, Wireless Access Points and Fibre Optic cabling. We were lucky enough to visit the stadium just after it had hosted the Adele concert and could see the pitch being restored to its original state ready for the first footy match of the season.

Rick and Matt, the Network Managers, explained how a music concert had some different challenges when setting up wifi access due to many of the audience being on the actual ground rather than in the stands.

The students visited one of the two Communication Rooms where they were able to view the extensive range of servers, switches and cabling operating throughout the stadium. I am sure the students were surprised at the costs involved when they were informed that one rack of switches was valued at one million dollars! The students witnessed first-hand how a stadium like Etihad provides its customers with a great experience in terms of the wifi they provide enabling people to communicate through social media and text messaging.

Once the techy sides of things was over, the students were lucky enough to get a tour of the stadium from John and Julie. This is their usual remit so I am sure it was a new experience for them having a group being taken around the network side of the stadium as well. The students went down onto the oval and touched the hallowed turf! They were able to sit in the Coaches box and they even had the opportunity to set themselves up as a panel for the After Match Tribunal.

The excursion was a great way to learn about WiFi networking mixed in with a fun tour of Etihad stadium. An enormous thank you to the Etihad staff who made the trip fun and informative.

Hopefully, we’ll be back again next year.

Shirley Munro

ICT Teacher

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