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Optus, Cisco partner on Commonwealth Games Featured

Optus Business and Cisco are joining forces to create a smart network which they say will allow global connections to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.

The partnership will see a high speed, resilient network spaning the 37 GC2018’s locations, including operational, command and sporting venues, which the two companies say will create a seamless user experience for officials, athletes and spectators.

Optus has developed a standalone, carrier grade network using 426 kilometres of Optus fibre, with Cisco’s infrastructure underpinning the integrated communications solution which Optus will deliver and manage for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (GOLDOC).

The appointment of Optus and Cisco followed a competitive tender process.

“Optus and Cisco have built the infrastructure that Optus will manage so that athletes, officials and spectators, near and far, can share in the excitement of the event,” says John Paitaridis, Managing Director Optus Business.

“The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will demonstrate what Optus has to offer – including our ability to design, build and operate the leading technology supporting an event on the global stage. We are proud that the GOLDOC has entrusted Optus to deliver and manage the technology that will deliver the GC2018 to a world-wide audience.”

Paitaridis said throughout the Games Village, 6600 athletes will have access to free Optus-provided Wi-Fi, and GC2018’s officials have advised on the locations which would be the most used by athletes so special Cisco access points could bolster connectivity.

“Like all of us, athletes are embracing the digital world, communicating with coaches, family and friends on smartphones and tablets, with more reliance on apps and video streaming, which require a powerful, reliable connection. No matter where they are from, the athletes will be able to connect their devices to the Optus network and interact seamlessly from their home away from home.”

To manage the technology across all 37 operational, command and sporting venues, Optus has placed a dedicated team in the Optus Gold Coast Delivery Hub and key Cisco technical experts have been embedded in the team working alongside Optus experts to ensure the smart network is Games-ready when GC2018 commences in a month’s time.

International and local television networks will use Optus’s services to upload and share footage, with many networks now relying on cloud-based transfer for fast, secure delivery to spectators who are internationally tuning in.

Paitaridis  said video streaming – which accounted for 75% of all internet traffic in 2017 - is a critical component of networks’ offering.

“Connectivity and data sharing at large-scale events, such as the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, has become an expectation for spectators. Cisco provides the infrastructure that supports the network, which is integral to the role technology plays in our personal and professional lives. We are delighted to be partnering with Optus to deliver digital capabilities for the largest sporting event Australia will hold this decade,” said Ken Boal, Vice President, Australia & New Zealand at Cisco.

Boal said Cisco conducted a detailed, critical audit of the networks design to ensure that the resilience of the equipment, licensing, and architecture was global best practice and will deliver the GC2018’s extensive collaboration requirements.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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