The Football Association’s new national football centre, featuring bespoke technology by BT Business, was officially opened today by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
St. George’s Park, set in 330 acres of Staffordshire countryside, gave VIP guests and the world’s media the opportunity to view the senior England team train at the new state-of-the-art training centre.
The Duke and Duchess were given a guided tour of all the facilities including the replica-sized Wembley pitch, a full-size indoor astroturf pitch, the sports science centre and Hilton and Hampton by Hilton at St. George’s Park hotels.
BT Business worked closely with the FA to design and deliver a communications service that met their requirements. BTiNet provided all the design and installation services for:
campus-wide LAN covering the FA facilities and both the Hilton and Hampton by Hilton at St. George’s Park, Burton upon Trent hotels, which runs everything from streaming video to telephony data applications;
wireless infrastructure across the site and pitches for both internal traffic and BT Wifi public access;
IP telephony system across both St. George’s Park and Wembley;
a data centre to provide additional capacity and resilience for FA.com, and network security for the data centre.
BT Business has also provided video conferencing, ISDN lines with 30 channels, and alarm and CCTV systems. BT Custom Solutions managed all aspects of the project into one contract with the FA. All the networks, including LAN and WAN, ensure information can be shared securely, and connect St George’s Park with the FA offices and Wembley Stadium. Pitchside wireless points allow coaches to record and analyse training session performance, and touch-screens with video playback in the changing rooms make it possible to review footage and tactics.
St George’s Park has two elements – the football and sports science centre, and two Hilton Worldwide hotels – and BT’s configuration reflects this.
BT worked closely with the FA as the client to shape what was needed for the sports science centre, but Hilton Worldwide had existing systems and ways of working, so had their own specific requirements. Two networks were installed for Hilton Worldwide – a management network featuring CCTV, iPad and laptop connectivity, and telephony, as well as a wireless network for guests to log into to use BT wifi.
Graham Sutherland, MD BT Business, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see St. George’s Park being officially opened by the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge. It was key for us to understand the FA’s requirements and how they wanted to use technology, so we could recommend and configure the correct products and services to create a state-of-the-art facility. The team worked really closely with the FA for nine months while the project was underway, and everything we’ve installed will underpin football coaching and the future of the national game.”