The next steps to upgrade wireless Internet access on the AirVenture site can now be made after an extensive study of guests and exhibitors gave important insights on how the resource is used during The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.
The study, completed late this fall, asked more than 1,700 AirVenture 2009 attendees if they used the wi-fi system during their visit to Oshkosh and, if so, how they used the connections.
"What the survey told us was the about half of the respondents said wi-fi service was important to them while they were on the grounds," said John Carrier, EAA's director of information technology. "Those who stayed for multiple days at the event found wi-fi more essential than one-day visitors, and the ability to check for AirVenture schedules and updates was a major expectation."
The growing use of portable Internet services through smartphones and other devices has greatly increased wi-fi demand at AirVenture in just the past three years. The survey results showed that while most people who used such connections made basic web connections, there was a percentage of visitors who sought higher levels of security for business and other transactions.
While total-site wi-fi coverage was obviously the most preferred status, survey respondents also showed a great understanding of the complexity of supplying such availability to the 1,500-acre site. The survey results also showed that a higher quality of service in a well-publicized "hotspot" configuration was preferred over a priority to cover the entire site.
"Our responsibility is constantly making a person's experience at Oshkosh better each year, and we know that improving wi-fi service is essential to thousands of visitors," Carrier said. "This survey gives us the specific information we need to supply the resources that best meets the request of the greatest number of AirVenture visitors."