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Ashes success story for free wifi at Lord's

Spectators at Lord's can now enjoy free WiFi
Spectators at Lord's can now enjoy free WiFi

More than 18,000 spectators accessed free WiFi during the Ashes Series Test match at Lord's last summer, thanks to MCC's partnership with The Cloud.

The vast majority of those using WiFi at the Ground over four days in July enjoyed an uninterrupted, fast service during their visit.

In total, more than 19,000 devices accessed The Cloud during the Test, clocking up 52,789 WiFi sessions with an average length of 64 minutes each.

At its peak, there were more than 5,000 concurrent users. Lord's has a capacity of 28,500.

MCC's IT Infrustructure Manager Paul Long explained how the introduction of WiFi has allowed Lord's to adapt to the expectations of the modern cricket fan.

"They want to be able to check in at the Ground, upload pictures or videos, tweet, check scores and listen to the live commentary," he said.

"In short, the rise in mobile device usage has meant our visitors are demanding different services from us – and to help them get the most out of their visit, we need to provide the tools to let them do this."

While mobile device users can use 3G as their internet connection at Lord's, the service can be blighted by poor speeds and capacity issues - problems which are exacerbated by sudden surges in demand in a concentrated area.

MCC's partnership with The Cloud - which is the UK's leading public WiFi provider with 20,000 hotspots across the country - began in 2012 as a means of solving this issue, with the roll-out being two-staged.

The service was available in priority areas, such as the J.P. Morgan Media Centre and food village for the 2012 Investec Test Match between England and South Africa, before being expanded to the stands themselves for the 2013 summer.

Long added: "The England v Australia Test Match was a huge challenge for the WiFi and the vast majority of people who used the service enjoyed uninterrupted, fast and free Wi-Fi.

"The Club will continue to work with The Cloud to further improve the service and build on the success enjoyed this summer."

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