B&B Electronics Europe has provided an extensive fibre, cellular and wireless communications network for the Volvo Ocean Race Galway Grand Finale (http://www.volvooceanracegalway.ie/), the nine-day festival built around the final leg and finish line of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 in Galway, Ireland, June 30 – July 8.

The company previously provided network expertise for the Galway leg of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2009, and is once again providing and monitoring the physical communications infrastructure including internet access and a ruggedized network used by the race teams, media and Galway event management team.

The network, deployed across 10 event locations including the docks area, event headquarters, media centre, Race Village, Global Village and seaside resort of Salthill, supports security, crowd management, web feeds, live TV and radio broadcasts, video streaming, credit card and point-of-sale facilities, commentator feeds, big screen displays and interfaces to Volvo’s own IT Group. B&B worked with the Galway event organizer, Let’s Do It Global, in providing the network.

Fibre, cellular and other wireless communications technologies were used to make difficult remote connections and to ensure network redundancy. The 20km of fibre in the docks area includes sections micro-trenched into the ground as well as marine fibre installed by divers.  The company used its GhostBridge Wireless Ethernet Bridges to create point-to-point equipment links across the harbour and to establish internet connectivity at remote locations where wired infrastructure was not feasible.  Other network equipment included B&B Electronics’ ELinx Ethernet Extenders, ELinx ESW Series Ethernet Switches, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) Switches, and Cellular Wireless Routers used for failover connectivity. 

B&B Electronics drew from its recently-expanded portfolio of industrial networking products including long-range, last-mile fibre acquired from IMC, and cellular technology for M2M device connectivity acquired from Conel.

“This installation really pushes the edge,” explained Jerry O’Gorman, managing director of B&B Electronics Europe.  “Our engineers are increasingly asked to help connect M2M devices being deployed in increasingly challenging locations, and where network boundaries are being relentlessly stretched to reach them, but this project takes the cake.”