Key to auto auction: Fiber cabling |

Key to auto auction: Fiber cabling

Rob Sabo

Last year, Smart City Networks of Las Vegas spent more than five months snaking fiber-optic cable throughout the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to provide bandwidth for the inaugural Barrett-Jackson Hot August Nights car auction.

This year, Smart City Networks reaps the reward of its efforts as it should only take about a week to get the convention center ready for the second annual Barrett-Jackson auction, says Julia Slocombe, vice president of the west region for Smart City Networks.

The Barrett-Jackson auction requires a great deal of bandwidth to accommodate streaming video of cars up for sale and the large volume of online bidding on classic cars.

“They are required to have fiber so that they can meet the speed challenge,” Slocombe says. “This was very, very critical to the success of the event.

“When they come into a facility, they have quite a large requirement for bandwidth and for fiber,” Slocombe adds. “Last year was the first time they opted to house an auction at the convention center, and they have certain requirement with fiber networking. We had to build an extensive fiber network that would allow them to bring in their own equipment to support the event.”

Installation of backbone equipment needed to power Barrett-Jackson’s auction networking hardware and computer systems started last Wednesday and is expected to take about one week to complete as crews are able to piggyback on the network of single- and multi-mode fiber optic cable laid at the convention center in 2013.

Part of the reason it took the technology services management firm so long for the initial buildout, Slocombe says, was because it had to work around a steady stream of convention business at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

Slocombe says that installations of this type typically require extensive coordination with multiple parties. Sterling Oakland, Smart City’s operations manager, oversaw deployment of the fiber-optic network as the company’s project manager in Reno. His crews worked hand-in-hand with event and sales managers for the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority to coordinate the installation schedule and design the best paths for the fiber cabling with minimal impact to conventioneers.

“Something like this, it doesn’t happen overnight,” Slocombe says. “All that work we did for those five months was critical to success of event, and now all the other events that come to the facility and have requirements of this type are enjoying that labor.”

Oakland says one of the main takeaways from last year’s auction that helps Smart City and Barrett-Jackson this year is the knowledge that Barrett-Jackson’s equipment functions well over the Smart City network.

“Now we have built that foundation, and knowing how their network operate from within our networks is really crucial,” Oakland says. “They have to take a mobile command center in our main equipment room, and we have to transform that into a functioning network throughout the whole facility. With that understanding it should be easier this year.”


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