DC-Net, the citywide network of the District of Columbia operated by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, has announced its sponsorship of the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. DC-Net will provide free public Wi-Fi Internet access over the course of the event, located on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, DC from September 23 to October 2, 2011.
The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon enables visitors to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today.
“By providing wireless Internet access for the Solar Decathlon participants and the general public, DC-Net hopes to enhance their experience of the event and their perception of the city as a tech-friendly and inclusive community,” said Rob Mancini, Chief Technology Officer. “The Solar Decathlon highlights the smart, efficient and creative use of technology and aligns directly with DC-Net and Mayor Gray’s goal of using technological efficiencies to deliver high-value, cost-effective broadband services.”
In addition to free public Internet access, DC-Net is providing the Solar Decathlon with 1 Gigabit per second fiber connectivity for use in transmitting all event data, including teams’ building performance evaluations and publishing website dashboards. OCTO DC-Net is also providing voice over IP and video telephony to event organizers.
Sponsors support the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon through in-kind contributions that help enable event organizers to hold a safe and successful event. Sponsors can also work with individual teams directly by providing in-kind donations, cash contributions and other resources.
“The Solar Decathlon depends on the valuable support of our many sponsors,” said Richard King, director of the US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. “Our sponsors play an integral role in ensuring that the Solar Decathlon provides a rich learning experience for the student decathletes and that we effectively educate the public about the money-saving opportunities and environmental benefits presented by clean energy products and design solutions.”