Colossal Raptors championship parade taxes wireless nets

Originally published by
Author: Greg O’Brien

TORONTO – Organizers were expecting a crowd, but not quite THAT big of a crowd for the Toronto Raptors victory parade.

For most of mid-day Monday, the NBA Champions s l o w l y rolled through the streets of Toronto (it took more than five hours for the team and various dignitaries to cover the approximate six kilometres from the CNE grounds to Nathan Phillips Square), while the estimated two million-strong crowd texted, called, took selfies and videos, and posted those to various social media platforms.

This put serious stress on downtown Toronto’s wireless networks and while they strained under the weight of massive traffic (several people on social media reported very slow network responses), they did not crack. asked all four operators in Toronto (Rogers, Bell, Telus and Freedom) how they were able to cope with the traffic, but only Rogers responded by our deadline.

“As a part of our ongoing wireless investments, we recently increased coverage and capacity along key corridors in downtown Toronto which covered the parade route, and recently installed a high capacity antenna in Nathan Phillips Square,” said a Rogers spokesperson in an email.

“Attendance today was higher than expected and our network was carrying six times more traffic than usual at Nathan Phillips Square, which may have caused some of our customers to experience reduced data speeds in highly populated areas.”

Network performance and data levels have since returned to regular levels.

Bell Media’s Marci Ien (pictured) did not ask her boss’s boss’s boss’s boss about network performance here when she chatted with, from left, team co-owners Bell Canada CEO George Cope, MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum and Rogers Communications chairman Edward Rogers (the team’s co-owners) at the start of the parade.

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