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Keeping AirVenture Connected

By Kayla Floyd

July 22, 2019 - Wi-Fi technology is always growing and improving, and so is EAA's commitment to having a complimentary Wi-Fi service on the grounds.

Tom Moule, EAA's director of IT, said that although it would be nice, it is not feasible to have the same sort of connectivity in Oshkosh during AirVenture as it is in your living room at home.

"At home you have 50-100 Mbs (megabits) type of service," Tom said. "Our Wi-Fi is 2 Mbs for each user or from each device. That kind of service is extremely difficult to provide in this environment. Our Wi-Fi is not geared towards your at-home experience. We provide Wi-Fi here more for people to be able to check their emails or look up a news story."

Due to the many temporary buildings without consistent wiring, regulations preventing tall structures near the flightline, and the sheer size of the AirVenture grounds at this point, Tom said getting Wi-Fi all across the entire event is not currently feasible. The South 40 is among the areas that the IT team will assess and work to make more connected. A consistent effort is made to ensure high-volume areas of need are accommodated.

"We (EAA) offer complimentary Wi-Fi over the grounds, not all over the grounds due to multiple reasons, but in the highly populated areas," Tom said.

EAA is dedicated to improving the Wi-Fi on the AirVenture grounds each year, and Tom said infrastructure costing more than $1 million has been invested into improving the internet coverage in Oshkosh over the past four years.

In the meantime, while Wi-Fi is not everywhere, AirVenture attendees can always find the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot to ensure they have a solid connection when they may need it.

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