The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), has successfully completed the first stage of a network overhaul in time for the Wimbledon tennis championships.

The new Cisco internet protocol (IP) network installed and managed by international solutions provider Logicalis, will form the foundation of a programme to provide state-of-the-art facilities. Over 50 systems will run across the network as part of the club’s ongoing mission to provide improved facilities, for close to half a million spectators, players, officials, and media who attend the two week event.

Applications running across the network include critical security accreditation to authenticate the 6,000 support staff, a ticket monitoring service enabling tickets to be resold when spectators leave the event and, new for this tournament, a live IPTV stream to be screened at points throughout the ground to ensure media, spectators, and players see as much of the on court action as possible.

Internet access for nearly 1,000 of the world’s media, players and other staff and a transport booking system also run over the IP network. And the Wimbledon information and TV commentators systems, powered by IBM and used by the media, are all dependent on the smooth running and constant availability of the network.

Jeff Lucas, AELTC IT director said: “For two weeks of the year response times are measured in seconds not minutes. With so many critical systems running over the network, availability is critical.”

Phase two of the network roll out will take place after Wimbledon and will include services such as IP telephony, internal communications and a public address system.