Big Temporary Networks

Jo Rhett jrhett at
Tue Sep 18 20:19:00 UTC 2012

On Sep 14, 2012, at 1:55 PM, Jay Ashworth wrote:
> That's an interesting question indeed.  The optimal solution here, of
> course, would be for Worldcons -- which are planned 3-4 years in advance --
> to get the right technical people in the loop with the property to see
> when in the next 2 years (after a bid is confirmed) they plan to upgrade
> the networking they have now... and make sure it will tolerate a "real" 
> worst case.  The business case for the property, of course, is that
> they're more salable to large technical conferences -- which makes them 
> more money.  Question is, is it enough.

Those people are already in the loop. Hi. Nice to see you again, Jay :)

Unfortunately, as I've said in the previous two messages, it simply isn't something that can be changed. If you are running a small convention that can fit into a dozen hotels in the city, you can make them compete on multiple levels including network. Since there are less than 4 cities in the world who could host a worldcon in more than one facility, there's zero competition. *

And frankly, the hotel contracts people have bigger problems to solve--namely, getting to use metric tons of convention floor space without paying much, if any money. Worldcon memberships are $150 each unless you wait until the last minute.

This is a problem that large technical conferences with thousand dollar memberships can solve. They have money to throw at the hotel. Not fan-run conventions whose entire budget is less than the spare capital that Usenix keeps in their account. (I've seen both and can state this as a positive fact.) 

* The one place that competition can occur is in the bidding process. Part of what we all ask bid committees is about the network access at the location. And we vote based on what we can find out. However, the number of us who vote that way are fairly small, as most attendees have other priorities like inexpensive food options, cheaper hotel options, etc.

Jo Rhett
Net Consonance : net philanthropy to improve open source and internet projects.

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