Wi-Fi in Art Deco former cinema

18 August 2017

The Troxy Theatre first opened as a grand Art Deco cinema in 1933 with a screening of King Kong. Over the years, it’s been used for different purposes, but in 2006 it became a space for live events with a capacity for around 3,000 people. 

As a Grade II-listed site, there are tighter controls over what changes can be made to the building. In particular, locations for wireless APs are limited, as are the opportunities to install the cabling to connect them. In the past, there had been several attempts to build a wireless solution to remedy this problem. However, the assortment of individual broadband lines and routers from various vendors became unreliable, resulting in frequent outages. 

Troxy’s team tried different options, notably deploying line-bonding tactics which involved linking broadband lines together for faster connectivity. But as the venue attracted increasingly high-profile corporate and live events, it soon became apparent that this organic design was no longer fit for purpose. 

In 2015 a fibre line was installed and this needed to be accessible throughout the venue. The team also needed to be able to prioritise network bandwidth to ensure quality of service for event management staff and visitors. 

There were four use cases a new network installation would need to support: connectivity for corporate hire; connectivity for the general public; private connectivity for internal teams; and connectivity for media companies.

IT services provider Connecting London worked with Zyxel to build an end-to-end solution for Troxy.

Zyxel’s adaptive wireless technology, Smart Antenna, was used to maintain stable coverage for the high numbers of visitors in the main event area. In addition, various access points from the vendor were used throughout the building to ensure each area was covered.

All the APs are supported using Zyxel’s PoE switches and a core firewall. These aim to provide a reliable network backbone to cope with the demands on security, network traffic and management, as well as seamless connectivity.

The APs are centrally controlled, allowing the straightforward configuration of either individual or access point groups. According to Zyxel, this approach provides the flexibility to adapt the configuration to suit all users within the venue, while also eliminating the inherent technical complexity.