Cisco Institute recognizes Tri-C students for their help during RNC teardown
October 10, 2016
If you watched Cleveland host the Republican National Convention in July, you saw the speeches. You saw the lights and sounds and crowds. You saw it all because thousands of people, from professional media outlets to attendees with phone cameras, beamed the experience to your television, your laptop, your tablet and smartphone.
What you didn’t see was the intricate nerve network that made it all possible.
By Father’s Day – Sunday, June 19 -- as Quicken Loans Arena was packed with fans attending a watch party for Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the construction was already underway. As the game played on the scoreboard above, on the floor below, workers were already in the process of tearing out seats, installing flooring and laying miles upon miles of cable.
But that was only the start. The nerve network extended beyond The Q, to include parts of neighboring Progressive Field, the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and the RNC’s temporary headquarters at the Halle Building.
The communications network, installed and run by Cisco Systems, played a major role in the convention’s success. Over the course of the July 18-21 convention, scores of media outlets produced countless shows and live shots, while thousands upon thousands of attendees used their mobile devices for tasks both personal and professional.
But after the confetti dropped that Thursday night, there was no time to sit back and admire a job well done. Almost immediately after the convention’s completion, an army of IT staffers descended on the floor of The Q and began dismantling the network.
Among those staffers were a pair of Tri-C students.
Earlier this year, James Lee and Jack Dubose were IT students at Tri-C’s Cisco Technical Training Institute, a partnership between the College and the Cisco Networking Academy. The pair volunteered their time to help remove, sort and repackage equipment in the days after the convention.
Last week, Lee and Dubose were recognized for their work by the Cisco Technical Training Institute. The pair was presented with certificates as part of a lunchtime program at the Tri-C Metropolitan Campus’ Advanced Technology Training Center (ATTC).
“Basically, it was a lot of deconfiguring, taking live status equipment to inactive status, and supporting the Cisco staff in boxing it all back up,” Lee said following the program. “It was my job to take inventory, make sure everything was filed properly, and assist our manager with anything else.”
“We had to get all of the network access points out as well,” Dubose said. “There had to be at least 100 between the arena and the ballpark. Probably 60 of them were under the arena floor that had been built for the convention.
For both Lee and Dubose, the experience offered a unique and intensive experience in what it takes to build and operate a massive IT network.
“There is so much coordination and planning that goes into pulling off something that big,” Dubose said. “The sheer number of people that had to work on that network to keep it running – you never really think about the magnitude until you see the inner workings of it. And it all has to work reliably with thousands of people using it at once.”
“When you are working on a network that big, you really have to rely on your training,” Lee said. “There is so much responsibility and liability in the IT field, and you need great training, like what we received through Tri-C and Cisco. You’re responsible for making sure a lot of people have the connectivity they need, and when they need it.”
Learn more about Tri-C's Cisco Technical Training Institute.