Media gets update on rules for Republican National Convention

Air-conditioned tubes, why no Wi-Fi, and more from Monday's briefing.

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Because both the Times Forum and the Tampa Convention Center, which will include additional workspace for the thousands of reporters in town, will be inside that security perimeter, Miller said that those who enter will hopefully not have to go through a separate security check at both locations.

As described earlier, Miller talked about the air-conditioned tube that will run from the Forum to the convention center for those who walk back and forth between the two locations. But reporters won't be completely shielded, as the tube will end and resume at street corners.

Director of Media Operations Julie Shugar announced that Google will be sponsoring the Media Lounge inside the Convention Center. Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook will also be represented there.

One bit of discord unfolded during the question and answer session at the Forum. That's when a member of the media asked if it were true that Bright House Networks, the official telecommunications provider for the Tampa RNC, would not be able to provide a high-speed Internet connection inside the Times Forum.

Miller declared that there was never a guarantee that WiFi would be available inside the hall, but that the COA was in discussion with Bright House officials on that issue.

The COA will gain unlimited access to the Times Forum on July 15, a full six weeks before the convention begins. The television and cable news networks will be able to start working on the construction of their booths the following week.

They've also reserved 16,000 hotel rooms in approximately 100 Tampa Bay area hotels for reporters. There will also be a limited number of media parking spaces available during the convention week for $150 per space for the week.

Running a political convention is a formidable task, but some of the folks with the Republican Party's Committee on Arrangements (COA) have been at it a long time.

Such as Mike Miller, who's worked on 13 different RNC's, going back to the 1964 convention at the Cow Palace in San Francisco when Barry Goldwater was nominated.

Miller was one of a handful of officials with the Committee on Arrangements (COA) who spoke at a press conference in Tampa today at the site of the convention, the Tampa Bay Times Forum. One of the COA's chief responsibilities is making sure that the event is seamless, and that means making sure the 15,000 or so estimated reporters are taken care of.

On Monday the COA hosted its second media walk-through at the Times Forum. Miller told the assembled reporters that he has no idea yet where the security perimeter will be established outside the convention hall. "We never announce it," he said. "But you'll know it when you see it." Another official with the COA told CL at the last media walk-through last December that it would be June at the earliest when that perimeter is established.

That's crucial because, until that is known, the city of Tampa will not announce where the public viewing area (sometimes referred to as the "Free Speech Zone") will be located.

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