Venue managers for the BT London 2012 Delivery Programme take us behind the scenes. This time, Dave Barton talks about his involvement with the London 2012 Opening Ceremonies as the BT Venue Telecoms Manager for the London Olympic Stadium.
Here’s part 2 of his blog…
Think about this: photographers pictures are instantly uploaded onto the BT data network and a few seconds later are on the photo editor’s desk in the Main Press Centre; and some are sent to the different photo agencies around the world — New York, Montreal, Sydney, Johannesburg. In just a few more seconds, those pictures are optimised and uploaded onto news websites — all within 30-90 seconds of the picture being taken. It has to work seamlessly. There can be no do-overs.
Think about the live broadcast. In Beijing, 1.1 billion people around the world watched the Opening Ceremonies live; we expect that number to grow for London, combining TV and london2012.com audiences. Another two billion people will see at least a bit of it —whether via news highlights or replay. I make one last call into our Technical Operations Centre who monitors every computer and every element on the network. I tell them we’re good to go, ready to go live to the world.
At this point we sit back, and watch. There is no touching any of the communications technology at this point, we just monitor and sit by our radios. We rely on the thousands of hours spent testing everything and the quality of our team that put it in.
Like in Torino, I know it won’t hit me until that point; when you work that hard for that long on a project you sometimes lose sight of the big picture. But then I’ll stop, take a step back, and think: wow, this is big — truly something special — the eyes of the world are focused on a small little speck of land in Stratford.
What you won’t see is the BT team of hundreds that has worked for years and years to deliver the communications services for this special event — from the designers huddled in a cramped room in BT Centre designing to the crew up in the rafters pulling the cable, and everyone in between. And it doesn’t end with the Ceremony. A few minutes break and then back to work — competition starts in the morning.