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So, lets talk about the $2500 cost of wifi at PAX South for exhibitors

JohsJohs Registered User new member
I'm an indy, tiny company, got into PAX South last minute and we're so excited and grateful to show up. Booth cost was very reasonable, we show up and ask for wi-fi.... and its $2500 for the cheapest option. If you need a landline, its $8000. These are the cheap options, 5 mbps wifi and 6 mbps landline.

I was floored. Of course I refused. Thats potentially more than I'm going to make at the entire show. We made things work with bad cell reception and mobile hot-spots that kept getting interference and dropping out, but we got LUCKY. 2/3 of our cellphones had no reception, and the third worked. If it hadn't, we wouldn't have been able to take credit cards. That's literally all were doing with the wifi anyway, it's just to take credit cards on the ipad.

At the end of the first night, we had our exhibitor pow-wow / luncheon, where we all get together and talk about our projects, meet new people, and do general networking. It was a great idea, but I can tell you that in my tables the cost of internet was all anyone was talking about.

(PAX South itself was a great show. I assume these prices were set by Freeman, the company setting up the show and not PAX, although I really have no idea. If it was Freeman, I'd appreciate you look into replacing them.)

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    I'm not sure what we can do for you here on the forums. I would get in touch with your sales representative at Reed Expo and see what you can find out for how that price is set. It's generally my understanding that at most conventions those prices are set by the convention center or its management company, but I could be wrong.

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    MaggieTheCatMaggieTheCat Registered User regular
    Most likely the cost was at least in part set by the convention center. When I have vended at the same convention center but for different events, the prices have been equally outrageous, but the events are smaller (local anime and comic conventions) that are not owned by Reed Expo, and would not charge and arm and a leg for internet themselves, and have said that it is the convention center who charges them that price and they, in turn, have to pass the charge on to the exhibitors. We make due with SquareUp readers and 4G connection for running credit cards.

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    KeitreKeitre Registered User regular
    Have you considered a cell-phone signal booster? Don't know how well that would work from the expo hall. Management might take exception to that, though. You'd have to check.

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    PandoPando Registered User new member
    edited January 2015
    That does seem quite absurd for 3 days of wifi. You could literally set up a satellite internet service for 3 days (or 1 month subscribed) plus the cost of equipment for considerably less than that.

    But my real issue is with the cell reception, or lack thereof, inside the convention center where PAX South was helf this year. I literally walked around all day with full bars and 4GLTE, but I couldn't use any data inside. The moment I walked outside I was hit with a wall of texts/missed calls.

    T-mobile and Sprint were garbage inside the convention center. I think Verizon was okay, but I honestly started to think that PAX event coordinators had purposefully chosen a "dead zone" venue.

    This was really the only real issue I had with the new location for PAX.

    Pando on
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    GhostDanGhostDan Registered User regular
    Cell phone data is always iffy at PAX and most large cons. You've got thousands of techy people in one space and all of them want to use data. There's only so much data at a cell tower to be had. East and Prime both have similar options. And at least at East and it seems now South Verizon is the only one able to get decent signal and speed a good amount of the time. I don't think PAX event coordinators conspired to be in any kind of dead zone.

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    DolarrahDolarrah New JerseyRegistered User regular
    Welcome to Conventions... Just to put it in perspective, vegas rates for the convention my company was just at on floor hardwired lan was $ 1000.00 per mbs/per day with an Static IP assigned to mac limiting you to one device. You could add devices for $ 250.00 per day. WIFI was capped at 512K and was a bargain at $ 750.00 per day per MAC

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    xiosxios Gamer, Artist, Interesting mind seeker Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    Well, maybe not all conventions. Quakecon offers blazing fast internet for 3500+ BYOC lan-goers, all under the sponsorship of AT&T. It would be pretty cool to see AT&T do the same thing for PAX, especially if the BYOC grows.

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    Attendees are not exhibitors ;)

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    jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    And the BYOC connection at South was actually quite fast.

    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
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    NorinEclypseNorinEclypse I'm here for the streetpasses Savannah, TXRegistered User regular
    Just for next year:

    Talked to a vendor there about the terrible cell reception, his reasoning was since everyone now has 4G, those frequencies become oversaturated and impossible to have a reliable connection on. So he ends up using 'last-gen' technology for their internet needs. At the show he used an older 3G phone to make transactions, and in the past when 3G was current-gen he used an EDGE phone.

    Hope this helps =)

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    DoctehDocteh Registered User regular
    Dolarrah wrote: »
    Welcome to Conventions... Just to put it in perspective, vegas rates for the convention my company was just at on floor hardwired lan was $ 1000.00 per mbs/per day with an Static IP assigned to mac limiting you to one device. You could add devices for $ 250.00 per day. WIFI was capped at 512K and was a bargain at $ 750.00 per day per MAC

    Limiting by MAC on a wired connection is a bit silly, but maybe to identify. Was there anything preventing your once device being a wired router?

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    DolarrahDolarrah New JerseyRegistered User regular
    Of course there was, you register the MAC of the Network Adapter of the computer, so the router was no more then a pass through, all the other ports on the router would be useless. The only way to do it would be to enable ICS on the computer and broadcast ad-hoc on the wifi card. Of course you cant get and SSL or IPSEC connection using this method so credit card machines would be useless which is really what they are trying to go after anyway to make money off of anyway.

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    DolarrahDolarrah New JerseyRegistered User regular
    edited February 2015
    xios wrote: »
    Well, maybe not all conventions. Quakecon offers blazing fast internet for 3500+ BYOC lan-goers, all under the sponsorship of AT&T. It would be pretty cool to see AT&T do the same thing for PAX, especially if the BYOC grows.

    We are not talking BYOC, we are talking VENDORS on the floor. Not sure about pax, but since BYOC does not need secured connections, there is no need for the setup and testing of Secured Tunnels. Unless your customers don't mind everyone in the convention center having access to their credit card numbers.

    Dolarrah on
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    DoctehDocteh Registered User regular
    Dolarrah wrote: »
    Of course there was, you register the MAC of the Network Adapter of the computer, so the router was no more then a pass through, all the other ports on the router would be useless. The only way to do it would be to enable ICS on the computer and broadcast ad-hoc on the wifi card. Of course you cant get and SSL or IPSEC connection using this method so credit card machines would be useless which is really what they are trying to go after anyway to make money off of anyway.
    I've never dealt with exhibitor internet, but even if you have to let them grab your mac address off of a computer, there is nothing stopping a person from programming a router to spoof the MAC address. I'm not clear what would stop SSL from working through ICS, unless somebody was doing a MITM attack on an unsecure network.

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    DolarrahDolarrah New JerseyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Docteh wrote: »
    Dolarrah wrote: »
    Of course there was, you register the MAC of the Network Adapter of the computer, so the router was no more then a pass through, all the other ports on the router would be useless. The only way to do it would be to enable ICS on the computer and broadcast ad-hoc on the wifi card. Of course you cant get and SSL or IPSEC connection using this method so credit card machines would be useless which is really what they are trying to go after anyway to make money off of anyway.
    I've never dealt with exhibitor internet, but even if you have to let them grab your mac address off of a computer, there is nothing stopping a person from programming a router to spoof the MAC address. I'm not clear what would stop SSL from working through ICS, unless somebody was doing a MITM attack on an unsecure network.

    Detecting a spoofed address is easy, the mac is not just a number it means some thing which includes manufacture of network adapter and model number, all you have to do is query the network adapter on the other end and bam, you can see spoof, finding out what is behind the spoof is not, its doable but not easy, any idiot can tell a spoof from a real mac, ok not any idiot, anyone who has taken a single security class. You don't thinks someone who sets up secure networks can do this in there sleep ? As far as SSL goes, if your a credit card company and still using SSL your probably 6 months away from going out of business, most have gone to TLS which will not work over ICS. Come to think of it, SSL Certs wont work over ICS without generating and error either, and IPSEC drops the second it detects ICS, so I am not sure what your point is?

    Dolarrah on
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    PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Part of what you will be paying for is the Business Level Support, during the weekend. Yes it's still ridiculously high and I would tell them which parts of my anatomy they are welcome to suck, but because they know you are going to be relying on the connection for commercial use they insist on having the "We assure you we will fix the issue right away the second you call us, and not whenever it's convenient for the engineer who is asleep on a cot in the office" level of support.

    Best I can recommend is to be prepared to have no internet connection unless you bring it yourself, and even then it's likely that every cell tower near the convention will be flooded with traffic.

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    jonxpjonxp [E] PC Security Registered User regular
    Dolarrah wrote: »
    Docteh wrote: »
    Dolarrah wrote: »
    Of course there was, you register the MAC of the Network Adapter of the computer, so the router was no more then a pass through, all the other ports on the router would be useless. The only way to do it would be to enable ICS on the computer and broadcast ad-hoc on the wifi card. Of course you cant get and SSL or IPSEC connection using this method so credit card machines would be useless which is really what they are trying to go after anyway to make money off of anyway.
    I've never dealt with exhibitor internet, but even if you have to let them grab your mac address off of a computer, there is nothing stopping a person from programming a router to spoof the MAC address. I'm not clear what would stop SSL from working through ICS, unless somebody was doing a MITM attack on an unsecure network.

    Detecting a spoofed address is easy, the mac is not just a number it means some thing which includes manufacture of network adapter and model number, all you have to do is query the network adapter on the other end and bam, you can see spoof, finding out what is behind the spoof is not, its doable but not easy, any idiot can tell a spoof from a real mac, ok not any idiot, anyone who has taken a single security class. You don't thinks someone who sets up secure networks can do this in there sleep ? As far as SSL goes, if your a credit card company and still using SSL your probably 6 months away from going out of business, most have gone to TLS which will not work over ICS. Come to think of it, SSL Certs wont work over ICS without generating and error either, and IPSEC drops the second it detects ICS, so I am not sure what your point is?

    Not that it matters all that much, but a spoofed MAC address doesn't leak info about its original address. If I am sending one out, you don't have any way to tell it's not legitimate unless there are multiples. As far as ICS goes, my knowledge of it is limited, but looking for info it appears to be nothing more than a software NAT. That means it should support anything that goes over at least TCP just fine.

    Either solution, using ICS or using a router with a white listed MAC should work. However, it's probably against the terms you sign to get it.

    Every time you write parallel fifths, Bach kills a kitten.
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    DolarrahDolarrah New JerseyRegistered User regular
    jonxp wrote: »
    Not that it matters all that much, but a spoofed MAC address doesn't leak info about its original address. If I am sending one out, you don't have any way to tell it's not legitimate unless there are multiples. As far as ICS goes, my knowledge of it is limited, but looking for info it appears to be nothing more than a software NAT. That means it should support anything that goes over at least TCP just fine.

    Either solution, using ICS or using a router with a white listed MAC should work. However, it's probably against the terms you sign to get it.

    All adapters can be queried, even spoofed ones. Since it is a spoof it does not return an answer or returns an incorrect one, the second it does not return and answer it is shut off. These are all things people have been trying since 2006. One of the reasons they cost so much is that all these and more are tested before the network releases from air gap.

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    zerzhulzerzhul Registered User, Moderator mod
    This is increasingly and increasingly not related to PAX.

    Geth, close this thread.

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    GethGeth Legion Perseus VeilRegistered User, Moderator, Penny Arcade Staff, Vanilla Staff vanilla
    Affirmative zerzhul. Closing thread...

This discussion has been closed.