The folks who paid 500 USD registration fee expect you to face the
problem, and come with solutions to avoid such problems at the next
Maybe that's the real problem - people think they are paying for the
wireless network as part of the conference fee, when the reality (as I
understand it) is that a substantial part of the cost of the wireless
network comes from sponsors, donors, and/or volunteers.
In other words, you get a lot more than what you pay for, but it's
hardly a surprise if the quality of free service varies widely.
Consistency costs money too.
Personally I think the registration fee is already too high, so I'd be
very reluctant to pay a substantially higher fee in order to get better
wireless connectivity in the meeting rooms. Those who really need a
stable network can still plug in at the terminal room.
While wireless could possibly have been better than it was last week, the
technology doesn't yet seem to be of the quality/maturity that 1200
people can demand free, production-quality wireless service when they're
densely crammed into a few meeting rooms (in Minneapolis, most of which
were really a single large meeting room partitioned with fuzzy walls).
Maybe in a few years with some combination of phased-array antennas,
802.11a, more wisdom about placement, and smarter host software things
will be better.
It never ceases to amaze me when people who claim to be network
engineers can't tolerate a week on the bleeding edge. What ever
happened to eating your own dogfood?