By Kevin Service
We’ve shared a lot over the past few weeks about the lengths our Verizon wireless engineering, operations and system performance teams have gone to make sure fans in Minneapolis this past weekend stayed connected to share all those special moments that matter, but what about those who didn’t brave the weather to be there inperson?
Super Bowl brings a TV audience of a whopping 110+ million viewers in the U.S.— that’s 255 percent more viewers than the next most viewed championship game — the World Series. A good number of you fans who watched the game depended on your Fios connection. In fact, upwards of 10 million viewers in the Northeast watched the big game on our wireline fiber network. That’s a lot of people depending on us for the biggest TV event of the sporting calendar. So how exactly did we make sure that connection never fumbled or dropped?
The secret, as with any winning franchise, lies in the long, detailed preparations made by a dedicated team – in this case, the Verizon Network
- Teamwork: In late 2016, preparations began. A primary focus for us from the outset was ramping up existing and new partnerships, including with local officials and federal agencies for ongoing coordination.
- Drills: We implemented and conducted a number of equipment testing, configuration verifications and alarm monitoring for the channels carrying the game, including:
Testing direct connections to off-air antenna fail-overs
transitioning all NBC TV network services to redundant digital content manager’s and test signal paths
point searching antennas to NBC’s over-the-air feed
performing fail-overs of all over-the-air encoders and encryptors
and validating all alarming systems in our key switching centers.
- Redundancy: Our network is built for resiliency and reliability, and was ready for heightened traffic. A big focus of network preparation for us is ensuring we have the right backups and redundancies in place. Your plan is only as strong as your safety net. Redundant systems are a key component of our network reliability.
Our network is built for resiliency and reliability, and was ready for heightened traffic.
The Big Game
- Play-by-plays: Leading up to and during the Super Bowl, we actively monitored the network and had resources on standby to respond to and resolve any issues.
- Communication and Customer Focus: Our Global Event Management Center served as our command center before, during and after the game. We had a team of engineers dedicated solely to Super Bowl viewers. We implemented an instant response system for any issues or trouble-shooting, and had periodic checkpoints before the game, and at the beginning of every quarter of the game.
- Public Safety: We were on the ground in Minneapolis in a public-access control center, and closely connected to our wireless network peers and the public sector.
For the Super Bowl, all the hard work and preparation paid off, with Fios customers enjoying a flawless experience.
Whether you were streaming, snapping and sharing from the Stadium or 4K-ing, LCD-ing and flat screen-ing from the comfort of your home, Verizon had you covered with the reliability required to provide millions of fans with a great TV experience of this major sports and cultural event.
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About the author(s):
Kevin Service is the senior vice president of wireline field operations for Verizon.