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Broadband At White Rock?

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The Football League and The Cloud, the leading wireless broadband network operator, today announced an agreement that could see wireless broadband access installed at every Football League stadium over the next three seasons.

The initial phase will provide wireless broadband access for both the media and club employees, but the agreement will ultimately see the service expanded to a wider audience, including supporters, by making it available in club bars, conference rooms and hotels. Deployment has already begun with Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Port Vale and Blackpool.

Due to the growth of Internet-based news and media, speed of reporting has become vital. To date, photographers have relied on traditional runners or very slow dial up connections to send their images back to photo-desks, both of which are costly and time-consuming processes. Reporters and photographers covering matches at these sites will now benefit from an efficient and almost instantaneous method of dispatching images and reports back to their offices.

The Cloud’s service will allow users to access their networks readily at club stadia, irrespective of their chosen service provider. The Cloud’s GuestPass solution will allow clubs to issue electronic vouchers to visiting members of the press who require temporary wireless broadband access. Passes will be available on a daily, monthly or yearly basis to suit all needs. Additionally, The Cloud will facilitate a pay-as-you-go service for those requiring limited one-off access through its PayGo system.

Zach Leonard, Chief Operating Officer, The Cloud, said: “Our carrier-neutral model allows us to enter into roaming agreements and partnerships with the world’s major service providers. Coupled with this, we have devised a highly flexible WiFi offering, which allows temporary provisioning so that the media and club staff are able to enjoy a seamless and easy-to-use experience, irrespective of whether or not they already have an existing subscription for wireless broadband services.”

Chris Eagle, new media manager, at The Football League, added: “We are very excited about the roll-out of WiFi at our club stadia. It is a service that will clearly benefit journalists and photographers and help them work more effectively from anywhere in the stadia. Gradually, we will make this service available to supporters and business users as well, who are increasingly interested in gaining Internet access in venues.”


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