05/28/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

RNC Bloggers Better Be Wired

Planning on using wireless to blog at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota this September? Better have a plan B, because RNC officials are warning the media that the wireless networks around the convention site -- the Xcel Center -- can not be depended upon. That's because the huge number of delegates, alternates and media who will be at the convention. 45,000 people are expected to be there. 15,000 of them are going to be media.

There will be wired work stations in a press area to do your blogging, but those rooms will be away from the main action and aren't as convenient as your own laptop.

More than 15,000 media people are expected to invade St. Paul, Minnesota starting at the end of July to cover the Republican National Convention which is in September. On Monday media representatives got to look at how the convention will be set up.

The UpTake's Mike McIntee went along to watch the media.

It's interesting that as local media organizations try to trim expenses, the number of press attending the RNC is increasing. Four years ago there were 5,000 radio people covering the RNC. This year there will be more than 7,000 radio people broadcasting from the Xcel. One RNC spokesperson I talked to said that an increased interest by the foreign press in US politics may be the reason behind the increase.

If you're blogger and planning to rely on wireless to cover the RNC, better come up with another plan. With so many people using cell phones and wireless, it is very likely any network you use may not work reliably.

One radio engineer I spoke with was disappointed that the RNC had not yet assigned spaces on "Radio Row", making planning for radio stations a bit more difficult.

Maps of the RNC layout Click on to see larger versions:
Click to see larger versionClick to see larger versionClick to see larger version

By the numbers:
The media will occupy 450,000 square feet during the convention. The convention is using more than 100 hotels in the Twin Cites. Total attendance at the convention (delegates, alternates, volunteers, media and other guests) is expected to be about 45,000.