Wi-Fi trailer will stand out in the crowd at Avera Race, other community events

May 6, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by SDN Communications.

The 31st annual Avera Race Against Cancer in Sioux Falls will be a big deal. Thousands of runners and walkers will gather May 11 at the starting line at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center, and thousands of supporters and volunteers will crowd along the sidelines.

SDN Communications’ new Wi-Fi trailer will be there, too, with its 30-foot, pneumatic tower poking into the sky. The connectivity it provides will help organizers keep the event running smoothly and allow spectators to share the fun and inspiration on their mobile devices.

The trailer tower has three Wi-Fi access points that collectively can provide 360-degree coverage for roughly 1,500 users. If there are no obstacles blocking reception, service can extend two or three blocks  from the trailer.

The Avera Race Against Cancer won’t be the only popular community event in South Dakota where the trailer can be seen this summer. SDN and its member companies in South Dakota are in the process of scheduling stops in the Sioux Falls region for the trailer’s second season.

The trailer proved to be a popular service at community gatherings after it was pulled out for the first time last June. It rolled across South Dakota with bicycle riders and their crews on Ride Across South Dakota. After that, it spent the rest of the summer at SDN member companies’ home communities, helping provide wireless uptime at sponsored events.

You may have noticed it at the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen, Sports Days in Canistota, Wheels ’n Squeals Festival in Beresford or even the ProAm Jam in Sioux Falls.

“For the summer months, it was pretty popular,” said Jake VanDewater, SDN’s director of network operations. “We had received a request last fall to reserve it for the Fourth of July.”

The trailer is expected to be in even greater demand this summer by SDN’s 17 member companies in South Dakota and by SDN’s seven partner companies in southern Minnesota and one in northern Iowa.

It’s already scheduled for several upcoming community events. They include:

  • June 2-8: RASDAK – Ride Across South Dakota
  • June 8: Friendship Days in Hills, Minn.
  • July 2-4: Mobridge Rodeo
  • July 12-14: SD VFW Baseball 10U & 12U Class A and B Boys State Baseball events
  • July 19-21: SD VFW Baseball 14U Class B State Tournament in Elkton
  • July 27: Freeman Chislic Festival

In past years, SDN occasionally would temporarily equip a trailer to help provide connectivity at gatherings, including the Avera Race. The makeshift trailer might have been used twice a year. Switching to a permanently equipped trailer has increased use substantially, VanDewater said.

CEO Mark Shlanta came up with the idea to design, outfit and design a permanent trailer to help promote connectivity and the services that SDN and member companies provide.

Preparation of the new trailer began in the spring of 2018. SDN employees worked on the technical design first and then installed and configured the equipment. The crew included Jason Kolda, Josh Paulson, Mike Harris, Joel James and Scot Peskey. Amanda Bormann, who is Shlanta’s executive assistant, handles the trailer’s schedule.

Typically, it’s parked near the hub of event activity and stabilized. Employees plug the equipment into a good power source and an internet connection provided by SDN or a member company, and it’s ready to go. The trailer usually can be parked and set up for business in 10 minutes, VanDewater said.

“It’s been good for us,” he said. “And we’re hearing more from our members for 2019 events now that they know about the trailer and what it can do.”

SDN Communications is a regional leader in providing broadband connectivity and cybersecurity services to businesses in communities such as Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Worthington, Minn., and the surrounding areas.

Avera race changes name to reflect broader approach

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Wi-Fi trailer will stand out in the crowd at Avera Race, other community events

Big events like the Avera Race Against Cancer aren’t quite as enjoyable if you can’t connect with others. This new addition at SDN Communications will keep you covered.

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