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DrupalCon DC has some unique challenges for data connectivity. In particular, there will be a dense concentration of technical users with high expectations and demands for their internet access. I worked with our vendor Smart City Wireless to design what should be a killer wireless network that’s within our budget.

While we are expecting 1,300+ attendees at DrupalCon, we designed our network to support 2,000 simultaneous wireless devices based on the assumption that every attendee will have at least one wireless device (i.e laptop, 3G cell phone, etc.) and about half of them will have two active devices. We expect people to be using email, web, and even VOIP on this network so with that in mind, DrupalCon is giving every device 768kbits/s of dedicated bandwidth to the access point.

We also knew that a lot of people were going to want to be online in an area at once (like for Dries’ keynote). We ordered 10 additional access points and mapped out where they should be installed – with six extra access points going in the keynote room, which will hold 1,300 people, and one extra access point in the four main session rooms – which each hold about 250 people. The access points are uplinked into a gigabit network which is connected to the internet via an unthrottled a DS3 (45mbits/s) link.

With this infrastructure and bandwidth, we expect to deliver a fast and pleasant wireless experience for everyone at DrupalCon DC. Any comments or concerns? Please post them in the comments.

The company I work for – Blackmesh – is part of the organizing team of DrupalCon DC, and we were happy to help make sure that we have great wireless internet access throughout DrupalCon DC.

About BlackMesh
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Herndon, Va., BlackMesh is an award-winning provider of information technology solutions for small and mid-sized businesses. BlackMesh specializes in the design, deployment, and administration of robust, innovative managed hosting and managed services in both off-site and on-site locations. Combining powerful, high-performance technologies with world-class service and support, BlackMesh provides its customers with the tools they need to lower costs, accelerate growth, increase agility and improve efficiency. For more information, visit


Thanks Jason. This kicks ass.


So I'm assuming that this WiFi access will be at no additional cost to us attendees?


Thank you.


That's a very impressive and bold plan. I was debating if it would even be worth it to bring my laptop, as I thought anything available would surely be crushed under the load.

Thanks for making this happen.

I really appreciate that you are giving so much thought to this. I've been to so many internet focused conferences where this isn't taken into consideration, but it sound like you guys are gonna have us drenched in Wi-Fi. Rock on.

Wow, thanks so much for putting so much effort into this. A lot of people will take it for granted, but I was just thinking the other day about trying to handle wireless access for this huge number of people. This is amazing work. Thank you for taking care of us all. :)

As a Canadian with ridiculously high cell phone roaming rates, I rely on Wifi for email etc... Thanks so much for ensuring we have reliable access!

The Boston DrupalCon was a real learning curve for all of us. Thanks for ensuring that DrupalCon DC's got this set up right!