DENVER — The Denver Broncos and Verizon have collaborated on a $6 million Wi-Fi renovation project that will allow fans to access free and faster Internet at Sports Authority Field at Mile High beginning in the 2017 season. CenturyLink will provide and power the Verizon Wi-Fi network at the stadium with a full 10Gbps internet connection that has both low latency and incredible reliability through Cisco's 5Ghz access points.
"We have been working with Verizon engineers since last June to select the best possible Wi-Fi system for our fans," Broncos Vice President of Information Technology Russ Trainor said. "Our Wi-Fi system was last updated more than five years ago and needed an uplift. Wi-Fi technology has made some significant advances in the last few years and we wanted to deliver a more robust system to our fans."
"We are proud to have a long standing partnership with the Broncos and are excited to play a strategic role in helping fans stay connected before, during and after every home game and event at the stadium," President of the North Central Market of Verizon Domenico D'Ambrosio said.
The new Wi-Fi system will have more than four times as many wireless antennas as the previous version across the stadium site. The new access points are the latest generation supporting 802.11ac Wave 2 — providing Broncos fans with the latest and greatest Wi-Fi technology on the market.
The new design in the bowl will include three different types of antennas: "Overhead" mounted, "In the Rail" mounted and "Under the Seat" mounted.
"The CenturyLink and Cisco teams have stepped up and have gone beyond the normal working relationship and we are very excited for them to help deliver this new system to our fans," Trainor said. "The new Cisco Technology is state of the art in that each of the access points is capable of driving dual 5Ghz radios. This was a key differentiator in our decision process."
Fans can access the network by selecting "FreeStadiumWiFi." The Verizon Wireless SSID will remain so Verizon customers will be able to join the network automatically.
The new Wi-Fi system is 40 percent installed and the goal is to be 100 percent installed by late October or early November. The Broncos' IT department will continue to analyze the new Wi-Fi system throughout this football season and gather data and metrics each game to tune and optimize the overall system for fans as the season goes on.
"As we continue to add more Wi-Fi infrastructure these next few months, we will continuously tweak and tune the system from week to week," Trainor said. "We have shored up our back-haul circuits to take on the additional capacity as well with dual 10Gbps circuits. We are increasing the amount of antennas throughout the venue by a significant amount and will primarily be driving a 5Ghz solution. We very excited about this new Wi-Fi platform and the design, and can't wait to see what the system can do during gamedays."
Trainor and D'Ambrosio will be available for a Wi-Fi presentation and infrastructure tour at the stadium at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
Media are asked to park in Lot J and enter through the North Tunnel, where they will be directed to the Coca-Cola Fan Cave. Lunch will be served to media at approximately 12 p.m. following the tour.