Rev Your Wi-Fi Engines

NASCAR drivers and fans have a need for speed, both on the track and on their favorite Wi-Fi enabled devices. Yet at NASCAR races all around the country, Wi-Fi network speeds have been coming in last place. Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife, Amy Earnhardt, recently spoke about the need to put the Wi-Fi pedal to the metal at NASCAR race tracks.

Source: Sarah Stierch (CC BY 4.0)

“[Wi-Fi] is important because for the fan, the social media and the social experience is a big deal,” Dale Jr. said on his weekly Dale Jr. Download podcast. “That’s part of the enjoyment,” he added.

Tens of thousands of people gather 39 times a year across the country to watch NASCAR races. The high Wi-Fi demand slows the network down, making it harder or even impossible for fans to share their experiences or connect with others on social media.

Being able, as Earnhardt put it, “…to say ‘Look where I’m at’ or ‘Look at what I’m seeing,’ and showing your friends or family” what’s happening on the track is a huge part of the NASCAR race experience, and fans can’t do that without functional Wi-Fi.

You can think about Wi-Fi networks like a digital race track. When too many cars are racing for position to find the perfect groove, you get a traffic jam that slows down or even stops drivers like Dale Jr.. When too many Wi-Fi devices try to connect to one Wi-Fi network — and the allotted unlicensed spectrum that makes it work — you get a digital “big one”.

We can clear up and prevent those digital traffic jams by opening up more unlicensed spectrum and making sure that it stays open, just like drivers trying to find a new groove so they aren’t stuck behind other cars. Policy makers, manufacturers, and tech innovators need to work together to fuel unlicensed spectrum availability, keep the Wi-Fi road clear of technologies that could get in the way, such as LTE-U, and ensure that growing network traffic is handled efficiently and effectively.

We all need winning Wi-Fi. Click here to drive up support for Wi-Fi and unlicensed spectrum!