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Showtime on fibre optics

Jared Heng | Aug. 20, 2008
Television news reporting in the 21st century is highly competitive. Jared Heng reports how one global news provider successfully contracted a leading telco to cut service latency and downtime.

"Macquarie provides a more personal approach, as my engineering team and I can contact a dedicated account manager, greatly easing communication flow," he says.

Full resilience

Fibre-optic circuits provided by Macquarie have full resilience, or are not vulnerable to a single point of failure, according to Juno. "If the circuit is cut, there will be automatic switching to a standby system."

He adds that the service will notify CNBC when a point of failure occurs on the circuit. However, the automatic switching ensures no noticeable on-air disruptions to viewers.

During the 2006 earthquake off Taiwan's coast, CNBC lost connection with its Hong Kong and London studios. "Fortunately, all our services were restored within half an hour," says Juno.

Juno does not expect the company to experience any disruptions should an earthquake of similar magnitude occur again in the region.

"We are now connected to our Tokyo studio through the Taiwan circuit path and through the mainland China path," he says. "If one path is cut, traffic would be automatically re-routed to the other."

While Macquarie's overall leased bandwidth to CNBC is fixed during the contract period, bandwidth allocation for voice, data and video services may vary depending on changes in the broadcasting giant's needs.

Such flexibility allows CNBC to scale up allocated bandwidth for services where users' demand has increased. For example, less bandwidth may be allocated to voice services but more to video delivery should the need arise. "Our costs will also vary with changes in allocation," Juno says.

Close communication

Additionally, CNBC is unlikely to inform Macquarie of changes to bandwidth allocations at short notice because anticipated adjustments are planned, Juno says.

With close communication between both companies, the response time is "very quick" should changes occur.

He adds that CNBC and Macquarie have systems monitoring and analysing the circuits round-the-clock, to ensure they can handle peak-period traffic.

"We never run at 100 per cent of video bandwidth to avoid data packet losses during peak broadcasting periods," Juno says. "If total usage is expected to exceed overall bandwidth in future, we may re-negotiate the contract with Macquarie."


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