Working behind the scenes this summer – part 1

Venue managers for the BT London 2012 Delivery Programme take us behind the scenes. This time, Ian Furey talks about his involvement with Hyde Park, venue for the triathlon and marathon swim events.

Being a born and bred Londoner, the London 2012 Games mean an awful lot to me — I was even in Trafalgar Square when it was announced our bid had been successful. So I was very keen to join the BT London 2012 programme as a Venue Telecoms Manager. I’ve worked for BT for 30 years across the UK, Europe and the US —but everyone tells me this will be
the best job I’ve ever had.

I was successful at the selection day so on the 1 of March I moved into the LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) offices in Docklands where we’re co-located with LOCOG, Cisco, Atos, Acer, Panasonic and many of the other companies involved in delivering the Games. I’m assigned to Hyde Park — my favourite of the Royal Parks – that will be the venue for the Triathlon and Marathon Swim events.

After a full induction programme — not least of all to understand the Games language and the acronyms that are the essence of communication across the different functional areas — I started working with my key colleague, Joe (the Venue Technology Manager) a highly-experienced US citizen from Utah who has a history of working on previous Olympic Games and other sporting events across the world; The team at LOCOG obviously bring a wealth of experience with them — and some great stories too.

Joe’s role is to capture all the communications technology requirements from the functional areas and put them into a system, creating THE key document listing everything that needs to be delivered. From this [BT] identify the requirements that fall under our remit, be it WAN, LAN,WiFi services, mobile services etc.

One of the most interesting and challenging parts of my role is that Hyde Park is considered a ‘Festival’ site, which means it’s an existing location, but there’s no current ‘venue’ as such. LOCOG needs to build all the venue building structures to give homes to the athletes’ lounges, the media centres, the medical centre and so on. So BT needs to provide all the communications networking that will allow the world (an audience of four billion people) to see, hear, read and experience the amazing athletic feats and see London in all its glory.

So that’s the background on how I got to where I am, and next time I’ll take you through my role in this vast, exciting, complex, once-in-a-lifetime event.

We’ve got a number of exciting offers to make sure you’re ready to make the most of 2012. For more information click here.


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