2016 DLCC Internet Connections (Dealers note!)

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Tigerwolf's picture
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The DLCC changed their contracted Internet service provider from
SmartCity to ShowNets just prior to Anthrocon in 2015.  Literally on the
eve before 2015 Anthrocon, ShowNets was still completing rewiring and
installing all new equipment into the building. 

Due to the very late transition, we were afforded the same services
which we had previously negotiated for AC 2015.  This year however, the
new contractor's terms are now in effect, though they are offering
Anthrocon a discount on the regular Exhibitor pricing for 2016.

Within the DLCC, there's 3 classes of Internet Service:
1.  Free
    - 512 Kbps
    - One HOUR session max per day
    - Public Spaces only, NOT available in Halls A, B, or C
2.  Premium 
    - 1.2 Mbps
    - $12.95 per device per day
    - Pubic Spaces only, NOT available in Halls A, B, or C
3.  Exhibitor
    - 5 Mbps
    - $75 per device per day per device
        (discounted for Anthrocon - see below)
    - The ONLY service offered in Halls A, B, and C, but coverage
      extends throughout the building for *registered* devices

The following will attempt to answer the basic questions for Anthrocon
Dealers who will be operating in the Dealer's Room in Halls B and C.

1.  Q. What area is covered by Wi-Fi for Dealers?
     A. Exhibitor Internet Wi-Fi is the ONLY service offered in
         Halls A, B, and C.  However, Exhibitor Wi-Fi covers
         access for the entire building (including Halls A, B,
         and C) so you will not need anything else to use
         device(s) you register for Exhibitor Internet.

2.  Q. What does Exhibitor Internet cost?
     A. Exhibitor Internet Wi-Fi price for Anthrocon is
           1 day - $29 per device per day ($75 regular)
           3 day - $65.25 per device ($168.75 reg)
           5 day - $108.75 per device ($206.25 reg)
         Dealers can also order 2 and 4 days as well and
         the customer service rep they speak with when 
         ordering will give them the pricing based on
         which is wanted. 
         NOTE: To get the discount pricing, you MUST CALL to
         place your order PRIOR TO JULY 1.
         See #11 below regarding ordering.

3.  Q. What connections speeds can be expected?
     A. 5 mbps for Exhibitor Internet.

4.  Q. Are the Wi-Fi connections fully encrypted/secure?
     A. yes

5.  Q. I have a laptop and a tablet.  Can I connect both?
     A. No.  The price for a connection is PER DEVICE, so to operate
         more than one device, you'll have to purchase one connection
         for each device you want to use.

6.  Q. Can I use my laptop part of the time, and my tablet for another
         if they are not both used at once?
     A. No.  The device you connect FIRST on the connection will be the
         ONLY one allowed on that connection for the duration of the time
         you have purchased.  The connection is keyed to the unique MAC
         address for the initially authorized device.  CHOOSE WISELY!

7.  Q. Can my device be a router to share my devices at my space?
     A. No.

8.  Q. My cell phone lets me tether my laptop.  Can I use my phone to
         connect?
     A. ONLY if your phone is using your Telephone Company's Cellular Data
         plan.  You cannot connect multiple devices through a single
         connection on the ShowNets DLCC Wi-Fi network.

9.  Q. I have a personal Wi-Fi hotspot from my Cellular company that uses
         my data plan with my telephone company network to connect.  Can I
         use that?
     A. Yes.  You are allowed to use your own data plan with your Cellular
         telephone company if you are NOT attempting to connect through
         the ShowNets DLCC Wi-Fi network.

10.  Q. I have heard some hotels and convention centers block use of
         personal Cellular hotspots or laptops tethered to Cellular phones.
         Does DLCC block or interfere with those?
       A. No. That is illegal.

11.  Q. How do I sign up?
       A. It depends on the type of service you're wanting.
        - For Dealers getting Exhibitor Internet - Call the ShowNets support
          number 1 (800)310-4454 PRIOR to July 1 (i.e. NO LATER than 30 June) to
          place an order.  Orders placed ON or after July 1 will NOT
          receive the discounted prices.
        - For those wanting public service OUTSIDE Halls A, B, and C. -
          Using your device, select a DLCC/SHOWNETS service access point.
          Launch a browser if one dosen't launch automatically.  Select
          the service you want, and follow the online instructions.

11A.  Q.  When can I call to order?  What can I expect when I call in?   What information will I need to provide?

          A.  The ordering line is only open from 8AM to 5PM EASTERN time. 

               When you call 1 (800) 310-4454, you will get a recording with some options.  Select

              "SALES".  When an agent answers, you should tell them you're ordering Wi-Fi

              connection(s) at Anthrocon.  They have the discounted prices for the con.

          - You will be asked for your name, address, contact phone number and email address.

            how many connections you want, the days you want connections, and your credit card

            type, the name on the card, card number, expiration date, and the CVN on the card. 

            You should confirm the price of the order as well.

         -  As an additional validation step, you will be asked to send an e-mail with the following:

            A statement you are authorizing charging your credit card.

            Your name, Contact Name (if diffreent), Contact address.

            The name on the credit card you provided on the phone.

            The billing address for the card you provided on the phone.

            DO *NOT* PUT YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBERS IN THE E-MAIL,

                   or ANY email for that matter!

            An e-mail address for them to send you the receipt and connection

            instuctions.

        -   Once your order is processed and your card approved and charged, 

            you will get two emails from ShowNets.

             -- The first will be notice and receipt for the card being charged.

             -- The second will be your connection access code(s) and detailed

                instructions for how to make the connection and use the code.

 

12.  Q. I've arrived at the con, but did not place an order ahead of time
          because I didn't think I would need Internet, but now I've found
          out I need it.  The con is already underway.  What can I do?
        A. Access the DLCC Exhibitor network from their Wi-Fi options. Open a
          browser if it does not automatically open. Follow the instructions
          to purchase the Wi-Fi option that works best for you.  There will
          be NO discounts applied to the $75 per day per device charge.

13.  Q. I placed an order prior to the con but later find I cannot get
          get there at all, will arrive late, or I have to leave earlier
          than expected.  Can I cancel the order or get a refund for days
          I'm not there?
      A. Call the ShowNets support number 1 (800)  310-4454 and they will
          help you and determine any refund which may be applicable.

14.  Q. What hours are covered?  What constitutes the start/end of a 'Day'?
       A. A 'day' is 24 hours.  You should confirm at the time you place
         your order just what times you need service to be available.

15.  Q. What about passwords, encryption keys, access codes, or other
         connection steps?
       A. When you place your order, the ShowNets staff will walk you
         through what you need to do to get connected.  They will also
         provide you with troubleshooting and help desk contact
         information.  Be sure you write down any critical information or
         steps given to you.

If you have additional questions, we'll try to answer them, however bear
in mind that the services offered are fixed by ShowNets and DLCC.  We
have no control over them  whatever (other than the discount they've
agreed to).

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xir1111011's picture
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Joined: 2016-04-10 01:46:21 am
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Thank you for the info!

Wow, though, the free plan being limited to an hour of service per day is really terrible, and I wish there was an alternative so you could still hold the convention, but not have anyone patronize them. Charging for faster connection speeds is totally fine when that's your business model, but limiting your "Free" connection timewise and via connection speeds simultaneously, offering an hour per day maximum... that feels more than a little dirty. Nothing against AnthroCon, cause I know it's not your guys' call, but this'll be the first Con/event I've ever been to where free WiFi throughout isn't just... a thing that exists. I'll throw an extra Gb or two onto my mobile plan for the month, I'm certainly not patronizing ShowNets.

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skippyfox's picture
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What is available to attendees in the Zoo? 

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Tigerwolf's picture
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The Anthrocon Zoo is actually Exhibit Hall D, so the only service offered there is Exhibitor Internet Wi-Fi, the same service whch is provided in the Dealers' Room in Halls B and C.

If you sign up online once you're there, it's $75 per day (24 hours).  

To get the Anthrocon discounted rates, you'd have to follow the instructions above to call in and pre-order a connection before 1 July.    For anyone signing up while on-site without pre-ordering the full rate applies.

We realize either option is expensive and impractial for the casual user, but there's simply nothing else available or offered in that area.

If you have a cell phone or personal hotspot data plan with your cellular telephone company, you're free to use that as you wish.

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Glelin's picture
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Those prices are pretty non-competitive.

If I were a business-savvy dealer with near-unlimited LTE data and hotspot capability, I'd sell my own Wi-Fi to neighboring dealers for a fraction of those prices!

Maybe big companies at a professional convention with a budget for that sort of thing could afford those prices. But artists at an entertainment convention... maybe. It would deeply cut into their revenue.

I hope dealers band together on this one.

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whtllnew's picture
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I'm sure DLCC is doing this because A) they can and B) everyone else is doing it.  Same principle as the airlines nickel-and-diming you on everything so their official fares stay competitive.  Could AC talk them into NOT doing it for their dealers?  Maybe.  But if I was the head of the DLCC my response would be 'I can't give you special treatment over all our other conventions, but I CAN give you guys a special 'group discount', sell you a hundred unlimited accounts that you could give to your dealers or something.'  Of course, if that's how the conversation went AC would have to come up with the money somehow...

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Chiaroscuro's picture
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To note: This is ShowNetx, the internet contracting company for the DLCC setting the prices. It is not the DLCC.

They are very used to corporate clients who will pay full price readily; they have been talked from $75 a day to $29 a day for us. which while is a significant discount, it unlikely to be used by our Dealers and other Members in Hall B.

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Seppel's picture
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As a fellow dealer, I can provide wifi for dealers all weekend (for use with sales transactions only) for maybe $5 per dealer in order to support the running costs.

If I'm not allowed to charge for it, I'll look into a free option. 

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Tigerwolf's picture
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This is not allowed.  If it was, we'd already be doing it.  The DLCC has an exclusive contract with ShowNets to provide Wi-Fi in the building.  For a number of years, before the Exhibit Halls had any Wi-Fi coverage at all, Anthrocon got special permission from DLCC and their network contractor for Tigerden to provide some limited Wi-Fi in the Dealers' area.  We paid for a wired connection from the DLCC contractor by which we established outside Internet connection to several Wi-Fi access points in Hall B.  But that was only on condition that once the DLCC contractor-provided Wi-Fi was available, that we would cease our own efforts.   All Anthrocon attendees have agreed to Anthrocon's Standards of Conduct, which includes compliance with rules established by our various venues.  Violation or circumvention of those agreements, if only by some individual doing it, could jeopardize Anthrocon's contract with the DLCC and we could be told not to return.  Clearly, nobody wants that to happen.

Cellular phones, personal Cellular hotspots and phone tethering are allowed because they are FCC approved and they communicate via established telecom carriers.   Therefore, they constitute fully legal communication devices covered by telecom rules.    This is why any attempt to prohibit or block *personal* use of those devices is illegal.

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Seppel's picture
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Thanks for the clarification!

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What about in the Tiger's Den?

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Tigerwolf's picture
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Tigerden is located in the Westin (2nd floor rotunda behind the escalators), not in the DLCC.   It has a solid connection, and offers free Internet access on its own machines.   So none of the DLCC issues apply.  It does not, however, offer Wi-Fi access for general public use.

Tigerden will be open 24-hours once operational (hopefully Tuesday evening or Wed morning). until about midnight on Sunday.

Once the Anthrocon Registration system is open, folks can register for the convention at Tigerden and even pay by credit card using Stripe if they choose.   Hopefully, we can help thin out the long lines waiting to input their registration information at the DLCC.   Once the registraion is completed, they'll still have to go to DLCC and check in, pay if they didn't use a card, and to pick up their badges.

 

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