Several times a year the meetings of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Ministers of Defence and Ministers of Foreign Affairs Agency are taking place in Brussels at NATO HQ. Those meetings are supported by Sector Brussels by also provisioning specific IT services for the press and media representatives.
Depending on the geopolitical importance, between 200 and 500 accredited journalists are present on the NATO HQ campus reporting on the events and they require quiet an amount of network bandwidth. "Over the years, the ICT services used by the press and media have shifted from low bandwidth analogue modem lines and ISDN circuits to Internet based communication. The usage of the communication lines has further shifted from traditional file transfer communication to GUI applications running over VPN based communication and these require more and more bandwidth for transferring instant HD video reports." – says Eddy Vanderstraeten, Head Network Management Section.
Since the Agency was formed Sector Brussels has been providing Internet connectivity and voice services for journalists to report back to their respective press agencies. For that purpose the press hall in NATO HQ has been equipped with a permanently available wireless network infrastructure. Besides these fixed wireless access points, there are additional mobile access points deployed during these events that cover all NATO HQ areas reserved for and accessible by press & media representatives.
A few days before the event the press hall is converted by NATO HQ and Sector Brussels staff into an open office space providing work space for press and media representatives. In addition to the wireless network infrastructure, these workspaces are also equipped with wired internet connectivity and public telephone access allowing journalists to conduct their work using flexible, efficient and reliable infrastructure.
After the event the mobile ICT and voice infrastructure is removed, normally within 24 hours.
Well appreciated by press and media representatives too, is the IT support desk provided by Sector Brussels directly in the press hall supporting journalist when experiencing issues with their own IT equipment. This service desk provides its service from 9:00 to 20:00 (or as long as required).