When the Republican National Convention came into Tampa in 2012 organizers boasted of the improvements they made to provide cellular and data support in "the first convention of the social media age."
They would have the ability to move 60 billion bits of data per second, that's enough to handle 37 million tweets a second. While it worked fine it was almost not enough, that's why those behind the 2016 Republican National Convention have made the data end of their preparations a high priority partnering with AT&T as the official provider.
"It is an infrastructure that we're putting in place that is unparalleled, it will be the most robust system that I think that's ever been put in place for a convention or anything else that has taken place," said Republican National Convention CEO Jeff Larson.
AT&T Ohio President Adam Grzybicki said they will be tripling their 4G network in Cleveland, moving forward on 165 LTE upgrades to cell sites to provide more reliable service and faster download speeds and adding 50,000 feet of new fiber.
"During the convention AT&T plans to boost the network experience by deploying numerous street level cell on wheels or mobile towers as well as small cells inside of buildings to create redundancy and security in the network for everything that this convention's going to bring up," he said.
The plans also call for permanent upgrades to Quicken Loans Arena with permanent being the operative word here. The investments made will stay beyond the convention itself. Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish said that will help in attracting businesses to Cleveland, especially the Global Center for Health Innovation where many companies have high data needs.
"Having this built in infrastructure from the convention should help us long term with our business attraction efforts at the Global Center," Budish said.