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Município de Melgaço

Município de Melgaço

Highlights

  • Municipality of Portugal which hosts thousands for annual festival
  • Deployed Meraki outdoor APs for reliable WiFi in heavily-wooded area
  • APs repurposed after event and moved to city center for public WiFi

Every year in Portugal’s northernmost municipality of Melgaço, the Feast of Albariño and Fumeiro Melgaço, a nationally recognized event, showcases local foods and crafts. With thousands of people pouring into the area during the fair, the municipality wanted a free WiFi network to support visitors’ mobile devices and provide them with access to online event information. Cisco Meraki outdoor access points were deployed around the densely wooded area to provide high-speed coverage for the event, and then repositioned around the town afterwards to provide ongoing public WiFi.


Original Networking Challenges

  • No previous wireless solution to support thousands of event visitors from Portugal and other countries, users had to rely on oversaturated cellular networks
  • Large, heavily-wooded outdoor area covering 25,000 square meters, in addition to remote hotspots, created a challenging wireless environment
From the beginning of the day, when there were only 10-15 users, to the end of the day, when there were thousands of users, there was no real change in the network. The Meraki solution is unparalleled.Paulo Cardoso, head of Municipality of Informatics

Why Cisco Meraki

  • The simple-to-configure dashboard allowed Paulo Cardoso, head of the Municipality of Informatics, to create network restrictions for comprehensive event security
  • With 15 SSIDs available per network, clients could be distributed and assigned traffic shaping or firewall rules, ensuring security and appropriate network usage
  • Features like automatic RF optimization and channel selection ensure high performance in dense, challenging environments
  • Ease of management and flexibility permits the municipality to repurpose the APs for general public use after the event without added complexity


The Deployment

  • Ruggedized, outdoor Meraki access points deployed, configured, and tested in the three days prior to the event
  • Layer 7 application traffic shaping and firewall rules configured to minimize bandwidth hogs, while Layer 3 rules used to ensure appropriate network usage
  • Segmented SSIDs configured to maintain security, with a splash page for the public and Active Directory authentication for employees


Results

  • Network provided robust wireless access to about 10,000 users throughout the three day event without any downtime
  • Visitors connected to the WiFi in order to share event information with others, check emails, use social media, and upload photos or videos on their mobile devices
  • Real-time visibility allowed the IT team to make configuration adjustments as needed throughout each day
  • IT team used automatic reporting in the dashboard at the end of the event to pull important information on attendee numbers, hour-by-hour usage statistics, popular applications, and more
  • Visitors and employees enjoyed a greatly improved user experience compared to previous years
  • IT team can move the equipment and repurpose it for general public use in the town after the end of the event