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Comcast gives Fenway Park a Metro E makeover

Thu, 04/12/2012 - 2:55pm
Mike Robuck

One of the nation’s most hallowed baseball parks has stepped into the future with the installation of Comcast Business Class Metro Ethernet service.

Comcast is not only providing Metro Ethernet services in the Red Sox’s home field of Fenway Park, but also in its new Fort Myers, Fla.-based spring training facility, JetBlue Park at Fenway South, which opened for spring training this year.

The service will deliver secure, reliable, high-performance Internet connectivity to support members of the media, support Red Sox staff and provide in-game Wi-Fi service for fans attending games at Fenway.

“The sports industry has changed dramatically in the last 15 years in its use of technology – from the use of video files in scouting players to the need for high-speed connectivity at the park so media can post photos, video clips, commentary and stories before, during and after games,” said Steve Conley, IT director at the Boston Red Sox. “We are in a media-centric business, and Comcast Business Class Metro Ethernet provides us with the bandwidth to accommodate the Internet reliability and performance needed for reporters, photographers and television crews, with the flexibility to quickly add more bandwidth in the future as we need it.”

Comcast Business Class’ Metro Ethernet service will be a boon to photographers and videographers since it will enable fast uploads of real-time videos and photos, while members of the press will be able to use high-speed Internet access in the press box to file their stories, research topics and engage in social media activities.

Closer to the field of play, the Red Sox use video extensively as part of the team’s scouting and player evaluation programs, which generate a significant amount of large video files that must be transferred through their network.

“We are getting terabytes of data per month from player videos, and these videos are very important to the scouting department, especially in the months leading up to the amateur player draft,” said Conley.

“Video files make up a considerable portion of today’s wide area network and overall Internet traffic, and this trend is expected to continue as more organizations utilize video in their daily operations,” said Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business Services. “The Boston Red Sox are a classic example of an organization that is a heavy user of video, making them an excellent fit for a Metro Ethernet service that can provide high-bandwidth and scale up quickly using Comcast’s vast fiber-based network.”

Comcast Business Class Metro Ethernet also provides the Red Sox with reliable bandwidth to support public Wi-Fi access at Fenway Park during games. According to Conley, approximately 1,800 to 2,000 users use public Wi-Fi at Fenway, on average, for Internet access during a home game.

Also, more than 250 Red Sox employees are using Comcast Business Class for their Internet connectivity on a daily basis, supporting various roles and departments in the organization throughout the year.

After several years of trials, Comcast started rolling out its Metro Ethernet service last year, and now it’s available across its entire footprint.

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