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New Wi-Fi network fails at homecoming football game

Many people in Scott Stadium were unable to access the wireless network

<p>Ting Wi-Fi did not work throughout the Saturday game, in which Virginia upset Miami 16-13.&nbsp;</p>

Ting Wi-Fi did not work throughout the Saturday game, in which Virginia upset Miami 16-13. 

After an announcement that Ting Internet would be installed at Scott Stadium, the service failed to work this past Saturday during the Homecomings football game against No. 16 Miami. 

Erich Bacher, the assistant athletics director for public relations for Virginia Athletics, said Ting has partnered with Virginia Athletics for several years. Ting recently announced that free wireless connection would be available at both Scott Stadium and John Paul Jones Arena.

According to an Oct. 12 blog post on Ting’s website, the new Wi-Fi in Scott Stadium uses 168 access points, 5Ghz wireless and more than a mile of cabling to provide stadium-goers with rapid internet access.

“Virginia athletics has partnered with Ting to provide a high capacity, cutting edge wireless network at Scott Stadium to enable fans to engage online and share their in-game experiences,” Virginia Athletics wrote in an email to the University community Saturday.

But Ting Wi-Fi did not work throughout the Saturday game, in which Virginia upset Miami 16-13. 

“It was pretty much in and out,” first-year College student Lucy Gilbert said. “It didn’t really work the whole time.”

In an email to the University community sent Sunday, Michael Goldstein — Ting’s vice president of sales and marketing — apologized for the mishap.

“This is a signature project for us as a member of the Charlottesville community and we’re committed to making this right for all of you,” Goldstein said.

Founded in 2012, Ting provides internet for homes and businesses across six cities — Centennial, Colo., Fuquay-Varina, N.C., Holly Springs, N.C., Sandpoint, Idaho, Westminster, Md. and Charlottesville. It maintains over 250,000 mobile customers and over 400 employees. Bacher said Ting currently serves thousands of people in the Charlottesville area.

Ting offers fiber internet, a service Ting claims to be faster and more customizable than copper. They began providing this service in December 2014, with Charlottesville being their first town.

Cavalier Wi-Fi is the main Wi-Fi network on Grounds.

“The Cavalier one is always available and works fairly well most of the time,” Gilbert said. “It’s reliable.” 

Scott Stadium and John Paul Jones Arena both receive Cavalier Wi-Fi, but with people so closely condensed, the Wi-Fi can be spotty. Ting will supplement the existing Wi-Fi.

First-year College student Aaron Doss said he had mixed feelings with regards to the necessity of Wi-Fi at games.

“[Wi-Fi’s] probably not necessary because phones aren’t really a necessary thing, but, what with the lifestyle we have today, it definitely is necessary,” Doss said. “Especially to have fun and keep in contact with your friends if you lose them at the game.”

In the coming days, Ting will be working to figure out what went wrong at the football game and try to fix it before the next home game against North Carolina on Oct. 27. Bacher said Ting remains optimistic about future functionality of their Wi-Fi at Scott Stadium.

“This is going to be a world-class offering that enhances the UVA fan experience and makes the school proud,” Bacher said. “It did not feel this way in its big debut. We apologize to the fans and are working our hardest to resolve the issue before the next home game.”