CenturyLink equips Denver Broncos stadium with 10G link to power Wi-Fi, core and edge networks

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is helping the Denver Broncos deliver what it says is an "amazing" experience for its fans by installing an optical 10G backbone network between Sports Authority Field and the team training facility.

Russ Trainor, Denver Broncos

Trainor (Screencap:
CenturyLink video)

The network leverages CenturyLink's Optical Wavelength Service, which can scale from 1 to 10 Gbps, and connects the Broncos facility and stadium to the CenturyLink backbone.

Russ Trainor, vice president of IT for the Denver Broncos, said in a promotional video that the team has been faced with a growing set of network capacity needs spanning everything from storage to fans wanting to access Wi-Fi to coaches on the sidelines.

"Some of the challenges we have been faced with over the past couple of years has really been number one shoring up our infrastructure," Trainor said. "We have storage, servers, applications and a virtualization platform and then we have a networking piece on top of that."

Trainor added that "the network becomes larger because it's not just your core network, but your edge network, your wireless network and we're trying to do more and what else we can do for the fans and for the internal users."

This includes providing Wi-Fi connectivity to fans so they can access the Broncos game day app and the 365 app, all of which is powered by its network.

CenturyLink is just one of two providers handling infrastructure upgrades for the Broncos.

In 2014, the Broncos awarded a three-year sponsorship deal to CenturyLink, under which the telco will provide Internet and data connectivity at the team's stadium and training facility, ensuring redundancy for certain services already provided by Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Similarly, Comcast Business won a deal in 2013 to upgrade the team's network infrastructure throughout the stadium and also the private fiber connection between the stadium and the team's headquarters and training facility. At the time, Comcast Business said the upgrade had increased network bandwidth by two-and-a-half times "with the ability to scale up to 10 Gbps in the future."

Despite all of its capacity, the Denver Broncos' network isn't without its issues.

During the AFC Championship game, the New England Patriots' coaches were not able to use their Microsoft Surface tablets to coach their team.

The NFL later said that the issues were due to a faulty network cable, not the tablets.

For more:
- see this blog post

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