This Canada tech firm delivered internet for Glastonbury UK

 This Canada tech firm delivered internet for Glastonbury UK

In the photo: Hector Kearns (left) & Ali Mirkarimi (right). Image courtesy: KTI

Canadian technology firm Kearns Technology Inc. (KTI) has helped successfully deliver internet access at UK’s famous Glastonbury festival. The Tech Factor caught up with the KTI team to learn more about the development.

Toronto-based Kearns Technology Inc. (KTI) recently helped ensure internet delivery for the iconic Glastonbury festival in Somerset, England. The Canada tech firm partnered with X-Net, a UK-based firm, for the successful delivery across oceans. In an interaction with The Tech Factor, Hector Kearns (Founder & CTO) discussed the challenges and innovation in the project.

Glastonbury Festival is a five-day annual festival of contemporary performing arts and regarded as a major event in British culture. It takes place on 1,500 acres of farmland and has been attended by around 300,000 people at its peak in 1994. In fact, leading pop and rock artists have headlined it over the years, including Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses and Elton John. Dua Lipa, Coldplay and Shania Twain were the major performers in the latest edition, held from June 26-30th 2024. The remote location has always created major challenges in bringing reliable internet connectivity at the festival.

The festival has faced issues with internet connectivity in the recent past. In 2021, the festival organizers had to formally apologize to fans due to failure of a live-stream event. In fact, many ticket holders were unable to access the live event, called ‘Live At Worthy Farm’, and continued getting error messages. Online forums have also seen event-goers discuss the connectivity issues at the Glastonbury festival, such as this post on Reddit. Clearly, internet delivery has been a historical challenge for the organizers.

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Canada tech firm KTI scaled remote connectivity challenges at Glastonbury

Kearns Technology Inc. provides cutting-edge & reliable cloud solutions, network connection, and managed IT services. The Canada tech firm claims to have a solid track record of providing adaptable and expandable IT solutions across North America. The team believes it stands out for its quick response times, as well as innovative approach. 

Hector Kearns told the The Tech Factor team that the two biggest technical challenges at the festival were power and internet connectivity. With StarLink providing the backbone, he highlighted that KTI served internet to an area that otherwise has limited (even cellular) connectivity. X-Net’s local knowledge and experience in offering mobile network solutions and high-speed internet for sizeable events enhanced KTI’s capabilities. Their familiarity with the regulatory framework and tech scene in the UK was essential to the project.

In terms of the solution, the Canada tech firm developed a rapidly deployable solution customized for Glastonbury festival. It used a combination of advanced mesh networking technology and high-frequency point-to-point wireless systems, coupled with portable power solutions. The proof of concept was successful, thanks in part to the self-healing properties of mesh networks. It allowed the solution to easily scale up or down to suit even the most remote areas. By utilizing high-frequency wireless technology, KTI was able to expand coverage over a large distance. The power packs were able to run the mesh access points for an extended period. Further, when combined with solar panels, the solution can run indefinitely.

X-Net was in charge of local coordination and on-the-ground support, while KTI’s team oversaw the core infrastructure and provided technical knowledge. Overall, the team claims that the internet delivery has been a major success.

What’s next for KTI and X-Net partnership?

Hector Kearns founded KTI in 2010 and has led its evolution into its presence today across North America. He currently serves as the Founder and CTO of the company, while Ali Mirkarimi serves as the CEO.

Kearns mentioned that the successful deployment of this proof-of-concept (POC) at Glastonbury marks a significant milestone in event connectivity. In addition, looking to the future, this solution can be rapidly deployed to places with limited resources, developing nations, or aid in disaster relief efforts. Therefore, KTI is now looking to work on multiple such opportunities going forward.

The company today has 20 remote team members, including network technicians, IT consultants, cybersecurity experts, and analysts.

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Ankur S

Ankur is a contributing writer for The Tech Factor based in Toronto. He is a seasoned technology & business leader, having worked as a tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist and management consultant for nearly two decades. His experience includes working and investing in the Canadian, US and Indian startup ecosystems.

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