Stones use WLAN at SARSstock

A concert held in Toronto on July 30 to help the city recover from the effects of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was made possible in part by wireless technologies.

For the past year, Todd Griffith has been the IT specialist for The Rolling Stones. He sets up a WLAN so the crew can update the Web site, keep in contact with their families and enable the production crew to receive large computer aided design (CAD) drawings of each venue.

Griffith’s network is an 802.11b wireless network with hardware almost exclusively from 3Com Corp., consisting of wirelessly-enabled notebook computers with 3Com’s Wireless PC Cards, 3Com’s gateways, wireless access points and building-to-building bridges.

Even though it is difficult for Griffith to deploy full security because of the way the network is set up, he noted that security hasn’t been a problem in the past because there isn’t a file server to hack into and because they move every few days.

Griffith said they normally get speeds of 1.5Mbps to 3Mbps, similar to a digital subscriber line (DSL) connection.