Connecting tens of thousands racing at the edge of the world
By Jenifer Robertson, President – AT&T Field Operations
Surrounded by Resurrection Bay on one side and the snow-capped peaks of the Kenai mountains on the other, the small Alaskan town of Seward radiates tranquility as the rhythmic sound of fishing boats fills the air. It’s the calm before the storm.
Tens of thousands of people are poised to flood this small port city to take on the challenge of racing up one of Alaska’s most famous peaks. This three-miler up and down the 3,000-feet mountain is part of the annual Fourth of July Mount Marathon festivities – an event dating back to 1915.
One new participant for this year’s race is a Cell On Light Truck (COLT). While our COLT won’t scurry up the mountain, this self-contained cell site on wheels will temporarily bolster network capacity in Seward to help keep residents and visitors connected as they share photos, tweets, texts and snapchats of their exploits.
What started more than a century ago as a friendly competition between a handful of people has grown into an international Independence Day celebration, attracting a selected thousand racers and their supporters each year. During the event, Seward’s population of nearly 3,000 grows by tens of thousands, along with that comes a surge in network capacity demand. Last year’s event spiked local data usage to nearly 700GB of data, which is equivalent to more than half a million selfies!
Curious to see a COLT? Check out this short video to hear from our technicians on site and get a glimpse of the beautiful Alaskan scenery.
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