BarCamp - How to Run Your Own/Networking and web access

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  • Get your network administrator involved from the beginning to properly plan for the large number of heavy network users.
  • If your network engineer is not going to be accessible during the event, make sure you or someone at the event has access to the network cabinet where the routers are in case you need to reboot something.
  • Working with an external company who deliver WiFi on top of a corporation's internal network is a good idea
  • Consider if there WiMax or 4G connectivity in the area your in. ManchesterBarCamp2 used WiMax.
  • If your in the UK, try and speak to BT early if you think you might need a ADSL line. It takes about a month to get a phone line and another month to get it ADSL enabled.
  • You may also want to try Cable if the venue is in a cabled area

Estimating numbers[edit]

When dealing with venues and Internet providers, it is very easy for them to underestimate the needs of your attendees. Wireless is usually provided on the basis that most people won't use it. This is not the case for BarCamps: at a BarCamp, it is a reasonable supposition that for every person there, there will be at least 1.5x the number of devices accessing the network, if not 2x. If you are outsourcing network provision or wifi provision to a third party, make sure they are aware that the people using the wireless aren't just going to be checking their e-mail once or twice, they are likely to be using it heavily and in anger. Even though you tell them not to, they'll probably BitTorrent too!