WiFi broke at congressional hackathon

The irony, it hurts.

Winners of a contest to make government more tech-savvy were reportedly delayed in finishing a presentation when Capitol Hill’s WiFi signal slowed to a halt.


The #Hack4Congress presentation on Tuesday saw three teams from San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C. pitch tech solutions to make lawmakers’ work more effective.

The slow Internet signal temporarily froze a presentation, according to a report, prompting jokes from members of the audience.

“This is an area with a need for great improvement,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), a sponsor of the event.

The event was a culmination of local #Hack4Congress gatherings designed to give tech experts a chance to improve government’s basic functions.

The program, sponsored by the OpenGov Foundation and Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance, has attracted speeches and support from lawmakers across the political spectrum.

Still, the WiFi problems Tuesday illustrated the basic inadequacies that plague tech systems throughout the federal government — problems #Hack4Congress participants probably did not consider.

Participants on Tuesday floated a variety of programs to help lawmakers, including a database of issues and bills to assist with coalition-building and a tool for organizing and improving constituent meetings, Fusion reported.