NECC: So Connected Published 2008-07-03 under

iste NECC succeeds at providing wireless connectivity despite the large number of participants.

One of the most impressive parts of NECC this year may have been lost or at least not recognized by many of the attendees. It did not have to do with the quality of the sessions, the nice environ offered by the City of San Antonio, nor even the fun yellow ISTE beach balls given away the first day. It was about WiFi. Every time I tried to connect whether in a session, the hallway, or even at lunch, my system found the "isteconnect" and I was on the internet. I was sitting at the Blogger Cafe with at least 30 others, most of whom had their laptops open - presumably connected too. Even with these numbers, I was able to connect. I have been to a number of conferences and the ubiquity of access to the Internet this past few days has really made this conference standout.

Of course, it took a contrast for me to really notice it. At my hotel, the Internet (via wifi) was very slow. I am currently at a Starbucks writing this offline because I am too cheap to fork out the money for a iMoble connection. Writing offline is difficult. I am so used to being connected that I can't help but to jump over to my browser to check a fact, look up a word, or search for supporting (contrasting) arguments. I am not even that big of an email/twitter/IM/rss junky. I don't have the fear of missing something that many folks have. But I do need access to get any work done, whether it be writing, programming, or even designing. The Internet has become a ubiquitous part of my work process.

Thus, I am writing this blind. I have no idea if others have been equally impressed with NECC wireless connectivity or if some found it to be very lacking. It is kind of exciting...

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Mark Wagner said...


Sadly I had the exact opposite experience. I was only on for moments at a time while everyone around me was on. I talked to a few others with a similar problem and it seemed to have something to do with the way IP addresses were not released by the router, but the help desk folks weren't able to resolve it.

In the end, I did everything I needed to with my iPhone over the Edge network - and on two occasions turned the Mac Mini setup in the Blogger's Cafe into an access point so I could get on. ;)

rob banning said...


After publishing the post, I, heard from several others with similar problems. I guess that I was very lucky or maybe I was one of those hogging an IP address. Either way, it was better than my sketchy hotel wifi.

Hope that you enjoyed the conference - How did it work out having your son along too?