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The Field Museum in Chicago uses Advanced Technology to Engage Visitors

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World famous natural history museum and research institution helps enhance visitor experience and business operations with Comcast Business Ethernet…

The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its Internet service to a 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet Dedicated Internet connection.  The upgraded service gives the iconic natural history and research institution the bandwidth to support interactive technologies that give visitors new ways to explore and engage with its collections, content and exhibits, and helps enhance its business operations.

The Field Museum of Chicago
The Field Museum of Chicago

Located in Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus, the Field Museum has one of the finest natural history collections and is home to premier exhibitions and educational programs.  Before the upgrade to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, the museum’s entire staff and business applications had to share an Internet connection of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps).  The slower speed was adequate but did not transfer data as quickly.  With the upgrade to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, the museum’s WiFi system now transfers more than 15.5 Terabytes (TB) of data a year to more than 113,000 individual users.

“Museums are expected to continually incorporate new digital technologies and make visitor experiences even more interactive.  Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet has helped us meet these challenges by providing a reliable, high-capacity network that we can scale as needed,” said Rob Zschernitz, director of technology, The Field Museum. “Further, it gives us the ability to provide a more interactive and immersive experience for our visitors.”

With an eye towards the future, The Field Museum has implemented a number of updates to its technology infrastructure to support new applications.  For example, it has expanded its core internal network, replaced its storage area network technology – expanding its data storage capacity to over 120TB (to be further expanded to over 160TB by this summer) – and expanded and upgraded its virtual server infrastructure. This will not only increase energy efficiency, it will support advanced features, such as server uptime and centralized management.

To enhance the visitor experience, the museum also released a mobile app last fall, which is loaded with exclusive content, experiences and curated tours, according to Zchernitz.

“Through video and sound, museum scientists give visitors greater insight into featured artifacts and specimens,” said Zchernitz. “In addition, visitors can use the museum’s WiFi to share their favorite tours with friends or create their own tours based on interest or theme. New objects and tours are added on a regular basis, so there is always something new to discover.”

Recently, the museum deployed gigabit Ethernet connectivity across the entire facility.  Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet also provides the museum more bandwidth and a highly secure, dedicated connection between its existing Local Area Network (LAN) and the Internet.  Moreover, as more bandwidth-hungry technology is implemented, the museum can scale its bandwidth requirements up to 10 Gbps, giving the institution the flexibility to keep innovating.

“As a community anchor institution, The Field Museum is a cultural icon in education, research, exhibits and events in Chicago.  Based on its recent IT projects, we also can add technology innovator to that list,” said Jay Dirkmaat, regional vice president, Comcast Business. “From deploying a network throughout the museum to online access to the museum’s collection of 24 million exhibit items and even microsites for extended digital exploration of exhibits, Ethernet is proving to be a powerful new addition for the museum’s visitors and staff.”

About Comcast Business

Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, Ethernet, TV and a full portfolio of Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.

For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow us on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social.

About Comcast Cable

Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses.  Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.  Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company.  Visit http://www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

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