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London 2012: the ICT Infrastructure Investment

June 18, 2012 - 0 Comments

In my first editorial in this series, I introduced the notion of some very bold aspirations for community regeneration and economic growth, that’s about to occur in East London.

I’m sharing the following key data points about the London 2012 socioeconomic impact, to give you an idea of the scale of this purposeful investment strategy — and the anticipated economic development related outcomes.

According to the British government assessment: over £8 billion of public funding is being invested to regenerate East London; 580,000 square metres of high-tech office space will be added to the area; 50,000 new permanent jobs will be created; in total, the games will generate an estimated £21 billion for the UK economy.

As promised, I’m also going to share more about the ICT investment backstory – details on the foundational communications network infrastructure. The following insight is an excerpt from a special interest publication produced by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Europe’s largest professional group for engineers and technicians.

Information and Communication Technology Overview

Behind the scenes of the London 2012 games is a massive communications infrastructure  – it spans a mobile, wide, local and metropolitan area network, internet protocol (IP) telephony, TV and broadcast, fibre-to-the premises, applications, service and technical support.

That being said, the plan was not to include prototypes and nothing inherently new in the overall BT Global Services design. In fact, it’s all been tried and tested – selected from technologies that have already been in service for at least two years. These are the key principles that were applied to the design:

Reliability: Services use proven, well-understood and mature components, connected to a central carrier class infrastructure.

Flexibility: A range of circuit connectivity options will be offered to meet different venue requirements and allow the late ordering of additional services where physical capacity permits.

Scalability: End-user service infrastructure is centralized wherever possible to allow services to scale easily in response to orders.

Security: Services are designed following best practice, and ensure the integrity of the network and so protect it from attack.

Manageability: All elements of the system will be proactively monitored and managed such that any faults can be quickly investigated and resolved.

Cost-effectiveness: The Games need to be seen to be cost-effective, with any incremental costs spread among multiple customers.

Sustainability: The communications infrastructure is designed for maximum re-usability, to leave a lasting legacy for the local community.

Communication Technology for the Olympic Park

So, how were these ICT infrastructure related objectives and goals applied in practice? Most of the network design was fully compliant — but with one considerable unforeseen challenge. Superfast broadband was a new requirement introduced late in the construction of the Athletes’ Village at the Olympic Park.

Deployment of the new technology required some redesign — and education of the contractors that would install the new technology. Simon Fisher, Principal Consultant, Strategic Network Design, at BT Openreach explains the planning and delivery of the infrastructure that was deployed.

This very insightful webcast — including video and presentation slides — was archived from an IET event in January 2012.

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