County Show’s £45,000 Wireless Internet Upgrade Success

Staffordshire County Showground chief executive Richard Williams and Dan Ellis from EPX
Staffordshire County Showground chief executive Richard Williams and Dan Ellis from EPX

Midlands and North West-based IT solutions company EPX Technical Services have been delighted with the performance of the state-of-the-art wireless Internet upgrade they installed at Staffordshire County Showground recently.

A plan showing details of the new WiFi access points
A plan showing details of the new WiFi access points

The £45,000 system, designed to provide WiFi access throughout all areas of the event site, was put through its paces during the Staffordshire County Show, which took place on June 1st and 2nd.
Hundreds of traders and exhibitors were able to take advantage of the vastly improved signal and Internet access speeds, enabling payments by credit card to complete more quickly and much more reliably, for example. The Showground’s connection to the Internet had also been upgraded from a 10MB supply to 50MB, using EPX’s superfast microwave broadband link system, which is ideal for connections to rural locations that are not supported by conventional cabled broadband systems, such as the Showground’s. The Internet connection speed can also be upgraded to around 150MB for particular events.

The wireless network was also opened up to the general public visiting the event, providing a superb opportunity for a stress test for the new system. At peak usage, over 2000 devices were connected to the 40 access points across the network.

“We couldn’t have been happier with the system’s performance. There was zero downtime and signal strength was ideal throughout the grounds”, said Dan Ellis, co-director of EPX. “This goes to show how careful planning and investment in a suitably robust network infrastructure can provide huge benefits, especially in terms of speed and reliability.”

XA Xirrus WiFi access point
XA Xirrus WiFi access point

The network was remotely monitored and analysed by EPX throughout the duration of the event. Thanks to the application of clever technology, the operational state of over 60 of the devices that make up the system are tracked by IT engineers based at EPX’s Stafford office.

“Were one of these devices to have failed, we could have reset it remotely, saving both time and money, as an engineer would not have needed to travel to the site”, explained Mr Ellis.

The “stress test” has also demonstrated the potential for expanding the use of the wireless system at future events, such as by using digital scanners at the entrances to check tickets – speeding up access to the site, as well as enabling enhanced security capabilities, as the high capacity of the new data network will allow for the temporary or permanent installation of almost any number of IP-CCTV security cameras, in any position throughout the grounds.