Staying Connected on the Slopes
People come from all over the world to ski at Vail – more than 170K per ski season. Vail has become a magnet for not only ski buffs but fishermen, general sports enthusiasts and music aficionados. Vail has become a year round attraction where visitors expect to be connected like they are at home. To meet this expectation, Vail stepped up to become one of the early “Smart Cities” – that is, they deployed Wi-Fi liberally across their city and slopes to maintain that always-on expectation. The network does more than just meet the needs of demanding visitors: the city of Vail utilizes Wi-Fi for monitoring parking lots, and ski, riverside, and park areas and to assist first responders and police.
The legacy Wi-Fi network, from AT&T, was aging, un-reliable, and difficult to support. The turning point was when AT&T decided to get out of this business and the town of Vail found themselves needing a new Wi-Fi provider. Reliability, high-performance, and a design that could grow were critical decision factors in selecting the new vendor.
After evaluating several different vendors, Vail found Ruckus best met the town’s requirements and they deployed a Wi-Fi network that covered some thirteen miles of outdoor terrain that included ski and village areas. To insure reliable connections to the Internet, Vail also installed a fiber backbone for guaranteeing high performance and reliability of the Wi-Fi service.