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A’s upgrade Oakland Coliseum internet in advance of playoffs

Oct 3, 2013, 2:09 PM PDT


People tend to take technology for granted. It’s can be easy to overlook the basic luxuries we are afforded in our daily lives until they are taken away.

At the Oakland Coliseum, there was one specific luxury that was frequently ripped from the grasps of people that needed it — the internet. The signal would work fine until large groups of reporters and photographers logged on. It would suddenly drop when it was time to file stories, take to twitter to analyze a big play, or send an important email.

Most people in the press box gave up on it all together and started bringing their own wireless cards to the stadium.

With that in mind, the Oakland Athletics recently teamed up with Comcast Business to improve their internet connection and keep it intact. The Comcast Business fiber-based ethernet connection didn’t just fix the problem, it increased the speed from nine megabytes per second to 90 Mbps.

“It’s nice to be a part of the real world again,” A’s pitcher Jerry Blevins said. “The first couple of years here it was the worst. It was depressing when you couldn’t get on the internet because we spend so much time here.”

Blevins is the longest tenured A’s player and has pretty much seen it all. He was happy an upgrade was made. If you thought the internet-related groans were loud in the press box, where people are obligated to remain quiet, imagine what they sounded like in the A’s clubhouse or offices when it crashed. That problem is now a thing of the past.

“The WiFi is very good,” Game Two starting pitcher Sonny Gray said. “Myself, I have a phone and use it, iPad and sometimes have a laptop as well.”

“It’s great, you pretty much have to have it,” Gray added. “There has not been one time I haven’t been able to get on it.”

The A’s front office used to schedule large uploads during off-hours. Their offices would feel the daily impact of the thousands of people that would show up and spike their bandwidth, hindering their connectivity.

“With our previous connection, we couldn’t even let our staff stream away games at their desks due to its limited capacity,” said Nathan Hayes, director of information technology for the Oakland Athletics. “Our current service from Comcast Business not only provides a dramatically faster user experience for our staff and members of the media, but it is also able to scale easily, allowing us to pursue additional projects without fear that we’ll outgrow its capacity anytime soon,”

With the A’s playing in the postseason for a second consecutive season, the media contingent and fans in the crowd are rapidly swelling. Now, the internet can go back to being one of those luxuries that is taken for granted and overlooked.

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