Network Ten flicks on IT networking upgrade

Free-to-air television business increases network speed between offices

Australian television station, Network Ten, has streamlined studio to studio broadcasting speeds following the consolidation of three disparate networks into two wide area networks (WANs).

The company operates three free-to-air television channels in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. According to Network Ten head of technology and infrastructure, Jason Tuendemann, the project was conducted in 2011 to save costs associated with running the network and to increase its capacity/performance.

The three original networks were converged into a virtual private LAN service (VPLS) network with gigabit access speeds to all studio sites in major cities across Australia. Nextgen and AAPT began providing the networking services last year.

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“Because we’re using the network for real-time broadcasting, which includes interview situations, it’s very important to keep latency down,” Tuendemann said.

“We do a number of file transfers between sites so this network does both our corporate traffic and media traffic live.”

The converged network supports applications such as real-time on-air video, voice, video file transfers, telemetry and typical business applications.

“There had to be a hard cutover from three networks to the new one. On the day we moved our live video traffic over to the site that was a real test,” he said.

He added that the WAN upgrade has increased the amount of standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) broadcasting traffic on the company’s network.

“When we are doing carriage on it [the network] for events, we are carrying real-time video services anywhere between 20 and 120 megabits per second [Mbs].”

Turning to other IT projects, Tuendemann said the broadcaster upgraded its email system from Novell to Microsoft Office 365 approximately a month ago.

The company is using Office 365 for mail with no plans to use its other functions as yet.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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