Streaming Forum: Geo Targets Media Owners with Leased Fiber

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Managed fiber optics provider Geo Networks attends Streaming Forum to evangelize the benefits to media owners of leasing dedicated fiber during the production of content.

“Bandwidth costs are rising dramatically as each new format comes to market placing a huge cost burden on asset owners or on suppliers to owners of that content,” argued Will Pitt, Media and Broadcast Sales Director.

“Bandwidth demand is rising because the way people consume media has changed for good," he adds. "The quality of content that the owner sells is being demanded at far higher quality from HD as standard, including some 3D and also coming down the track, at least four times the data volume of 4K.

“What's more, asset owners have to maximise monetisation by getting their assets to multiple devices on demand, and that requires huge bandwidth and also speed to market.”

Content providers are having to re-assess the way they move and offer content, he said. “Traditionally media companies have followed the telco model and bought ‘blocks’ of bandwidth as they go. This option can prove expensive as demand increases and more and more ‘blocks’ are required and next time you approach the vendor they will charge you the same again. The model presents a problem for media companies and the streaming industry in general.

“An alternative way for media companies to manage the dramatic uptick in demand is to lease dedicated optic fiber," he adds. "This approach provides built in scalability allowing users to add as little or as much traffic as they choose, at any time. Once the initial investment is made, additional bandwidth will cost significantly less. Optical fiber can carry as much bandwidth between points as you will ever need – it is inexhaustable in its core form.”

Geo estimates that companies which take this approach can make savings of 25-30%. It has more than 3,000kms of fibre network in UK, connecting all major cities and commercial regions and boasts media customers including Sohonet, which connects production facilities around the capital with hubs in the US and Australia.

It also leases fiber to broadcaster ITV, which links ten of its UK sites including MediaCityUK and sites at Acton and Chiswick Park to data centres around London with a 10Gig core network.

“ITV is removing a huge amount of cost from its chain because bandwidth doesn't cost them the earth and they can remove compression from the workflow,” said Pitt. “Since they don't have to compress video they remove the workflow step and cost of compression while increasing the picture quality.

He added: “We are eager to be present at Streaming Forum because this is where people go to discuss and debate the issues that are facing them in terms of media delivery and where they can look for new ideas.”

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