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Alexandra Palace Deploys Xirrus High Performance Wireless to Support Global Business Development Strategy


April 11, 2013 - London

Xirrus®, the leader in high-performance wireless networks, today announced that Alexandra Palace has deployed Xirrus Wireless Arrays to provide clients and its one million annual visitors with a fast and engaging Wi-Fi experience across 10,873 square metres of events space.

Alexandra Palace is an iconic entertainment and leisure destination in North London and has been the centre of music, sport and events for over 130 years. Built as the "People's Palace" in 1873, the historic seven-acre Grade II listed venue sits in 196 acres of parkland and boasts panoramic views of London.

Emma Dagnes, Commercial Director at Alexandra Palace says: "We are thrilled that we are now able to provide a first-class Wi-Fi service to our clients at Alexandra Palace all year round.

"In today's market, it is imperative for venues such as us to remain competitive, and having the ability to provide clients with a reliable and integrated wireless service will ensure our iconic venue continues to attract world-class live events and premier exhibitions.

"Our aim is to help our clients enjoy the heritage of Alexandra Palace whilst enabling them to embrace the technology of the present and future.

"We also know that by providing a fast and reliable network service to our clients, they will be able to engage in new communication channels, promote their services and take advantage of additional advertising and revenue generating opportunities such as branded Wi-Fi portals linking directly to their websites."

Andy Holmes, sponsorship manager at Betfair, which sponsored The Masters at the venue in January this year, commented: "The wireless set-up at Alexandra Palace during the Betfair Masters boosted connectivity for media and fans alike. It enabled event attendees to engage with Betfair during and between frames and allowed us to use the event to sign up new customers and provide a first class mobile betting platform. In this day and age, fans are accustomed to being able to surf the internet while watching live sport, and as title sponsor, it was fantastic to be able to give spectators the complete event experience."

Developing a wireless network of Olympic standards

Prior to summer 2012, there was no permanent wireless network infrastructure in place at Alexandra Palace with Wi-Fi only provided on a case by case installation.

However, after the hugely successful deployment of Xirrus' temporary Wi-Fi across Alexandra Palace during the 2012 Dutch Olympic Team's Holland Heineken House, the iconic venue decided to retain and extend the wireless network across its entire event space. The Palace has now deployed 100 Xirrus Wireless Arrays across the Palace to support high bandwidth usage for its maximum capacity of up to 11,000 concurrent users.

Dagnes added: "Wireless coverage is now considered by event organisers to be as crucial as having the correct lighting or electricity systems in place. During the 2012 Olympics, when Alexandra Palace was the venue for Holland Heineken House, we were able to see first-hand the impact providing such a service can make on an event and how it contributes to delivering an exceptional consumer experience."

Alexandra Palace chose Xirrus to deliver its integrated, high-performance wireless service because of its reputation as being the leading vendor able to provide this service across large and complex venues, with minimal disruption. As a Grade II listed building, Alexandra Palace needed a solution that not only provided flawless performance in a challenging architectural environment but could be installed in adherence with strict construction guidelines. Due to its experience of delivering sympathetic installations in historic buildings, Xirrus ensured its Arrays were in accordance with the venue's aesthetics, causing minimal disruption and requiring less networking infrastructure than other vendors.

"We had looked at wireless in the past for Alexandra Palace, but its complex design and layout had caused connectivity issues. During the Olympics, the Dutch team and visitors to Holland Heineken House were simply blown away by the high Wi-Fi speeds provided and the Palace was the only venue during the Games that didn't experience wireless issues thanks to Xirrus' robust solution. Its unique design means you can cover high densities of bandwidth-hungry users, across vast indoor areas within the Palace. It also gave us the right level of flexibility and manageability," comments Jason Ozin, owner of IT consultancy Technica, who worked with Alexandra Palace on the initial Xirrus implementation and permanent roll-out.

"As you can imagine, every event that we host has completely different requirements, so we needed a flexible wireless infrastructure that would enable us to tailor the service accordingly. The Xirrus wireless network is unique as it gives us real granularity dependent on location, meaning we can offer visitors, exhibitors and production teams tailored Wi-Fi access all from the same Wireless Arrays. The Xirrus Management Software is exceptional as it allows us to configure Arrays remotely, which is really important in a venue of this scale. We are also able to see exactly who is using the network and how, which helps the management team address any issues in real-time," added Ozin.

Facilitating connectivity and social sharing through Wi-Fi

At a recent Suede concert on March 30, visitors were able to use the wireless to share photos and video content across social media channels. This enabled the venue to create an engaging experience for fans to encourage recurrent visits.

Sean Larner, VP of International Sales at Xirrus, said: "With its wireless installation, Alexandra Palace alleviates modern day connectivity issues for both consumers and businesses through providing fast, high-performance wireless coverage. Following the success of Holland Heineken House, Alexandra Palace recognised the positive influence implementing a robust Wi-Fi solution would have on enhancing both the visitor and exhibitor experience now and in the future, as well as future-proofing development plans and creating exciting new revenue streams."

About Xirrus, Inc.
Xirrus is the leading provider of high-performance wireless networks. Our array-based solutions perform under the most demanding circumstances -- always. Wired-like reliability and superior security allow our customers to confidently take their business-critical applications and operations mobile. Our solutions are unique in the industry, transforming enterprises and organizations around the world. At a time when everyone expects to connect wirelessly everywhere and business is increasingly done in the cloud, Xirrus wireless solutions are providing a vital strategic business and IT infrastructure advantage in thousands of deployments worldwide. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA, Xirrus is a privately held enterprise designing and manufacturing its products and solutions in the USA. For more information, visit www.xirrus.com.

About Alexandra Palace:
Alexandra Palace has built a reputation as one of London's premier venues. With its beautiful setting and panoramic views of London, stunning architectural features and well-proportioned halls, the Palace is now a very popular choice for both corporate and private events. Alexandra Palace has been the centre of music, sport and events for over 130 years. The venue is bursting with culture and heritage that no other destination in London can offer.

The seven acre Palace is surrounded by 196 acres of beautiful parkland, and grounds that boast an ice rink, pub & restaurant, boating lake, pitch & putt course, 1,500 free parking spaces and much, much more.

Recent events hosted at Alexandra Palace include The Black Keys staging the last stop of their European Tour, Florence + The Machine's UK Ceremonials Tour, the Masters snooker tournament, and during the 2012 London Olympics it served as the official hospitality venue for the Dutch Olympic team.

Alexandra Palace

History & Heritage
Alexandra Palace is one of London and the UK's most iconic buildings. Built as a "People's Palace" in 1873, this remarkable seven-acre Grade II historic entertainment destination sits in 196 acres of North London parkland and offers unprecedented views of the city.

The Palace and Park were created in the enterprising Victorian era to provide the people of North London with a magnificent cultural and recreational centre. Since then, Alexandra Palace has become globally recognised as the birthplace of the world's first television broadcast and has been home to the BBC Television Service, a horse racing track, cricket, football club and ice rink -- as well as staging many legendary rock and pop concerts.

Alexandra Palace -- Today
Today Alexandra Palace maintains its original enterprising spirit. It also fulfils its original purpose of hosting an eclectic mix of live music, sport, cultural and leisure events, becoming a Cool Venues Award Winner in 2011. Live commercial events tripled in 2012 and Alexandra Palace played a role in the London 2012 Olympic programme by hosting the Torch Relay and Holland Heineken House. Alexandra Park has won three major awards in 2012, flying a Green Flag for its quality and appearance as a community green space, a London in Bloom (silver-gilt) and Green Heritage award. On the 21st of July 2013, Alexandra Park will celebrate its 150th Anniversary with a daylong celebration of the extraordinary.

Alexandra Palace -- The Trust and Regeneration
Alexandra Palace continues to hold a special place in the heart of local people and Londoners today, under the guardianship of its Board of Trustees. The Trustees are determined to build a more financially sustainable model for Alexandra Palace and to capitalise more fully on the public benefit potential of this iconic place. They have therefore embarked on a project to regenerate the site as a whole. The exciting regeneration plan for Alexandra Palace is already underway. So far, a £ 2.3m investment has enabled the ice rink to be turned into a superb sporting and recreational facility and the Park has been restored with Heritage Lottery Fund support. Most recently, English Heritage awarded Alexandra Palace over £ 320,000 for essential repairs to be made to the fabric of the building as well as to support the Trust's conservation management plan. These essential repairs are currently underway in a phased schedule to the South Terrace, East Buildings and Victorian Theatre roof.

Alexandra Palace -- The Consultation
The exciting Regeneration plans for the Palace have been well received with 87% of respondents supporting the project's aims and objectives. In response to the public consultation, 2,000 respondents; one of the most successful consultation response rates in London Borough of Haringey's recent history, provided their responses to the regeneration using a number of different channels. These included: consultation booklets, an online survey, a number of focus group sessions and online discussion forums using the Alexandra Palace website and social media. 2000 people took the time to respond; one of the most successful consultation response rates in London Borough of Haringey's recent history.

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