The White House gets working Wi-Fi, finally

The White House gets a much required IT upgrade

Forget what you have seen in the movies, POTUS was just like one of us, using derelict computers and spotty Wi-Fi. The White House had speakerphones from 1985, desktop computers from the 90s, and old black and white printers that printed on only one side of a page. The White House staff used old BlackBerrys. Apparently, the air to ground connection from Air Force One to the White House was as bad or worse than a dial-up modem connection, reveals the New York Times.

A large part of the problem was bureaucratic, as four separate agencies were in charge of the communications and IT infrastructure in the White House. The Executive Office of the President, the National Security Council, the Secret Service and the White House Communication Agency all had to work together, which lead to a lot of temporary fixes and patch up jobs.

Towards the end of his tenure, President Obama is giving a parting gift to the White House in the form of a complete IT overhaul, shares the report. The man responsible for the upgrade was David Recordon, who developed the in house IT solutions for Facebook. Recordon started by mapping and removing 5896 kilogram worth of unused cables from the walls. The phones were replaced with new models. A high speed Wi-Fi system without any dead spots was put up.

The Wi-Fi system also tracks visitors and their movement in the White House, streamlining and increasing the security as well. Colour printers replaced all the black and white ones. The staff got shiny new iPhones in place of their Blackberry. The President, however, did not get an iPhone and still uses a BlackBerry. The old desktops were replaced with sleek new models with fast solid state drives and current generation processors. The entire process took over two years, says the report by New York Times.

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