Security concerns and lack of faith in reliability mean that wireless networks will not play a part in the running of this year's Athens Olympics, which kick off in three months' time.
Atos Origin, the systems integrator in charge of managing the IT infrastructure for the Games, said that worries about malicious attacks meant that only traditional wide area and IP-based local networks would be used.
With networks authenticating staff, recording and relaying competition results and providing real-time images and analysis to TV commentators there can be no mistakes when it comes to security, said Claude Philipps, Atos Origin's programme director for the Games.
"We need to be ready before 13 August and the date cannot be moved," said Philipps.
"Here in Athens we have predicted that there could be 200,000 security alarms a day," added Yann Noblot, security information manager at Atos Origin.
To reduce chances of an outside attack on the IT system, Noblot said, wireless networks will not play a part in the Games Management System.
This is a large-scale Enterprise Resource Planning system that pulls together many of the organisational components of the Olympics, such as transport and accommodation logistics, staffing and security accreditation and protocols.
"You may have [public] Wi-Fi being offered by ISPs during the Olympics, but we will not be having it in the Games' network," said Noblot.
"There are tokens and other security, but if some stupid guy came into a stadium with a signal generator and jammed the system, what could we do?"
Noblot also said that there were no satisfactory wireless solutions that could ensure the 100 per cent availability required for real-time relay of the Olympic event information that Atos is trying to protect.
The firm is also stripping out other possible intrusion points into the network in its 10,500 Olympic PCs, including USB ports and floppy disk drives, and is deploying antivirus, firewall and intruder detection devices.
All networks and data storage systems will be redundant, through the use of multiple backups, to ensure that systems stay live in case of a failure or attack.
"We are also building a secondary data centre outside of Athens to protect against disasters like earthquakes," said Philipps.
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