Bell Canada and Olympic Responsibility

With more than 5,000 kilometers of cable, 6,000 PCs, 3,000 TVs, 7,000 cell phones, and 40,000 ethernet ports, the Vancouver Olympics are giving technology providers little by way of wiggle room.

The setup for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver differs from Olympic setups from other years in that the Vancouver events will be using one massive Internet Protocol network to handle all of the video, voice and data from the games. The network, set up by companies like Atos Origin and Bell Canada, may even have more performance pressure than some of the athletes.

When the games start up on Friday, the Bell Olympic Network will kick into high gear and the telecom company had better be ready to back up their mandate for the events. "Typically technology is a silent partner of theGames - what we do is usually not known," said Justin Webb, Bell's VP of Olympic Services and Operations. "Our collective mandate for 2010, and Bell's mandate in particular... is what we call 'flawlessGames.' To be perfect."

But can Bell Canada actually be "flawless?" Can any of Canada's telecommunications company's be flawless in covering such a massive worldwide event?


The Olympics in Vancouver will present a unique opportunity for Bell to step up to the plate. With some 6,800 athletes, 1.8 million spectators and an estimated three billion television viewers at home, the pressure is on to cover every single golden moment clearly and precisely.

The details of the tech provisions for the games are astounding. Bell's participation goes beyond providing networks, as their services will even be tapped to help run the two-way radios that help event organizers communicate during every vital Olympic moment.

On top of it all, the network capacity for these Olympics in Vancouver are expected to set network capacity records. "We are delivering more capacity to connect the rights-holding broadcasters here in Vancouver to the world than in any other Olympic Games, more than Beijing," Webb said.

So there's an awful lot on the line for Bell and succeeding at supplying network capacity and power to these Olympic Games could help push them to the front of the pack of Canada's Big Three. Of course, failing miserably will have repercussions too and everyone at Bell has got to be sweating the immeasurable possibilities.

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