Verizon prepares for big crowds during Derby weekend - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Verizon prepares for big crowds during Derby weekend

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Texts, tweets and posts can be a crucial part of Derby weekend. 

It's the accessory almost everyone watching the races will have. Not the big hats, not the colorful ties, it's the smart phone most of us can't leave home without anymore. 

"Part of being ready for that onslaught of data means backing up our network and making sure that we've got the coverage and capacity that we need," said Steve Van Dinter, PR Manager for Verizon Great Lakes Market.

Verizon has brought in a truck to expand coverage. They've also added small cells, which provide bubbles of extra coverage around the track. Inside Churchill, Verizon shares a distributed antenna system (DAS) with other providers. 

"Last year our customers used 3.8 terabytes worth of data on Derby day alone. That was two and a half times more than they used in 2014, which was three and a quarter times more than they used in 2013," Van Dinter explained. 

Verizon says that's enough data to watch HD video for 108 straight days. All of it goes through a building that is so important to Verizon, it's location is kept a secret. 

"This is the heart of the network," said KY/IN Network Operations Manager Dennis Robertson. "All the calls, all the data sessions, they come here and we route them to wherever they need to go."

We're told 10 million calls and 500 million data transmissions from the Louisville area come through the building everyday. 

Those numbers go up around Derby weekend. And can most can guess the busiest time.

 "It is the fastest two minutes in sports and right around that time is when everyone is picking up their phone and trying to fire off video, picture, or post to Facebook and so when you are ready to do that this weekend, we're going to be ready for you," Van Dinter told WDRB News. 

Verizon says after Derby, it will review the service and see if any changes need to be made before next year.

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