The Network on Wheels – Raising Funds for Paralympic Athletes

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The Network on Wheels – Raising Funds for Paralympic Athletes

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.@Ciscocsr NOW Van provided internet connectivity for 700+ cyclists at the Deloitte Ride Across Britain #csr

Multimedia from this Release

RAB Camp Site Internet Access - Courtesy of the Cisco NOW Van in the background

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 1:30pm


By Stephen Speirs

“You mean you can Facetime us from your camp site”, my daughter said incredulously. “From the middle of nowhere?” she continued. ”You lot are mad!”  OK she was more annoyed that I was taking our WiFi-only iPad away with me as I took some time out of my day job in Cisco Data Center Services, to participate in 2 stages of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. Prior to the ride, I blogged about this challenge here, discussing the scale of the event and our target to raise money for Paralympic athletes. A nine day, 969 mile cycle over some of the most challenging terrain in Britain, the ‘Deloitte Ride Across Britain’ was an immense physical and mental challenge. From Saturday 8th September until Sunday 16th September (just passed), over 700 riders took part in this epic journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  For the second year in a row, Cisco provided key technical support to the riders, so that they were able to focus fully on this enormous and exciting journey.

What (technically) made possible my hope to Facetime back to my family en-route on the RAB (as we called it), was the Cisco Network On Wheels -- the NOW Van as we called it -- basically a small bus filled with few Cisco routers, switches, a ASA firewall, a number of Cisco IP phones, a Cisco TelePresence EX90 unit, wireless access points (hardened for outside use) and a few other pieces of kit.

The Cisco NOW Van provided internet connectivity for 700+ cyclists, for the whole 969 mile route route from Lands End to John O’Groats (the “start” and “end” of the British isles).  Let’s have a look inside the NOW Van and at the camp site setup to show you how we did it. Thanks to my colleagues  Gerry Littlejohn and Mark Ley, Systems Engineers in the Cisco UK & Ireland team, for much of the information here, and to Mark in particular for the video clip of the NOV VAN itself. Photos courtesy of Chris Litt, Samantha Moylan Heydt, Ian Foddering and myself. And finally, thanks also to our friends at Harris Caprock, who provided the satellite link.

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Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | Borderless networks | Cisco Data Center Services | Deloitte Ride Across Britain | Facetime | Network on Wheels | Paralympic athletes | Technology | cisco systems | csr | giving back