The Network Delivers at Mel Smith Husky Invitational Tournament

Bob Nilsson Director, Vertical Solutions Marketing Published 21 Mar 2018

“It’s very difficult to keep all network users happy during a large event like the Mel Smith Husky Invitational, but our district technology director, Darren Tingey, and Extreme Networks executed flawlessly. There were no complaints and no outages, which is quite remarkable.” — Athletic Director Scott Elliot, Fremont RE-2 School District

As wrestlers and spectators from 32 Colorado school districts poured in to Florence High School for the two-day 2018 Mel Smith Husky Invitational, Fremont RE-2 School District Technology Director Darren Tingey had complete confidence in the school’s wireless network. With tournament scoring 100% dependent on wireless iPads, and spectators demanding fast connections to social media, the network faced a challenge. This had been tried before, unsuccessfully, at other tournament locations with other vendors’ networks. But Darren knew he could count on Extreme Networks to provide flawless Wi-Fi coverage to the overflow crowds in the gym and the common areas. Throughout the tournament, the officials enjoyed perfect connectivity, and the students and parents experienced smooth video streaming to Facebook and YouTube.

Fremont is a small Colorado school district of 1373 students located about a two-hour drive south of Denver, but their network proved it could handle even the largest crowds. The wireless network in their high school gym includes two access points, one of which is Extreme’s AP 3916 combination camera/AP. During events like the wrestling tournament, this combination AP enables Fremont to live-stream the action over the Internet, as well as to the overflow crowd in the school’s commons area.

Throughout the wrestling tournament, Tingey anxiously monitored the network with Extreme Management Center single pane of glass network management system. The system kept the officiating and scoring network traffic entirely separate and secure from the guest access traffic. According to the dashboard, the two applications most used by spectators were YouTube and Facebook. Tingey also saw extensive Pandora streaming connections throughout the tournament. The two APs in the gym flawlessly handled an average of 120 wireless device connections each. Often, Internet streaming traffic must be throttled back or “shaped” to accommodate all the connections, resulting in noticeably slow performance for some users. This was not the case with the Extreme network at Florence High School. All spectators enjoyed full-bandwidth connections during the tournament. 

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