Super Bowl Parade Makes Carriers Run a “Philly Special”

As an estimated three million Eagles fans toasted the long-awaited arrival of the Lombardi Trophy down Broad Street in Philadelphia yesterday, the major carriers held their breath, according to Philly.com.

“The telcos and the city worked together quickly to boost capacity along the route,” Philadelphia city spokesman Mike Dunn told Philly.com. “While providers have boosted capacity, parade-goers should expect service to be challenged.”

The City of Brotherly Love has seen its share of big events over the past few years and has boosted its network accordingly with the visit of Pope Francis, the Democratic National Convention, and the National Football League draft. This event, however, was expected to put enormous and unprecedented loads on the city’s cellular network.  The parade route stretched for five miles from the stadium in South Philadelphia to the Art Museum and its famous “Rocky” steps.  

“We’re prepared,” Verizon spokesman David Weissmann told Philly.com. His plan was to make adjustments to the demands on capacity as the parade progressed to its final destination.

T-Mobile director Kerri Strike-Stahller was optimistic they could handle the overload as they increased capacity for the parade with a mobile cell site near City Hall, roughly at the halfway point of the progressive celebration.

AT&T said in 2017, it grew its capacity in Philadelphia by 35 percent and also expressed confidence in its ability to handle the crowd, Philly.com reported.

Comcast, which has been gingerly entering the wireless business, wouldn’t open its extensive WiFi network to the public along the parade route because it likely doesn’t have the capacity for the crowds. “While Xfinity continues to expand our WiFi network – we have more than 14,000 access points across Philadelphia – it’s difficult to predict the impact this kind of data use may have in such a concentrated area,” the company said on Wednesday.

Comcast recommended to cable customers that they venture a few blocks beyond the crowd, find a WiFi hotspot and upload videos and photos there, publishing a WiFi map to help ease the congestion.

February 9, 2018   

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