February 28, 2006

Wirelessless

Further to my original remarks about the network at PyCon, this has probably been the biggest complaint I've heard people make, and the post-mortem continues as wireless associations continue to fade in and out during the sprints. Considering that

a) The networking company is at least part-owned by Marriott, and
b) A five-figure sum was negotiated for the wireless coverage and Internet connectivity

the results were very disappointing. For the record STSN didn't have anyone on-site, and there was no evidence that they had sent anyone over beforehand to do any testing and verify that the network coverage would be robust when descended upon by a crowd of geeks, most of whom were expecting the same kind of coverage we got at GWU.

I've no wish to prejudice any negotiations here, so I'll content myself with saying that during the sprint startups, when we shared a room with the organizers' debriefing, I was reminded how difficult it is to get everything right when you depend on third parties for so much of it. This issue isn't over yet, and meetings will follow to pick over the carcass.

3 comments:

Jesse said...

The wireless access *was* pretty frustrating. I gave up a few times and ran back up to my room to "get my fix". However, thanks for the info, I did not realize that this was a 3rdparty (STSN, albeit owned by marriott) providing the networking.

I know that the organizers knew how much of a problem it was, and I really hope the issues are resolved by next year, I mean, when you have 400 eager geeks with laptops (and I know some of the talks and tutorials *needed* web access) having reliant net access is key.

Anonymous said...

It's somehow funny that 2 almost simultaneous open source meetings have the same problem: broken WiFi access... (the other one being FOSDEM in Brussels).

Catherine said...

It's especially sad that the near-realtime blogging of past years was dampened by the network trouble. I think it made PyCon lose some of the buzz it deserved to generate. Yes, we're buzzing, we're just buzzing in Texas, and you can't hear us...