The Switch is undertaking a major network expansion strategy to support more live content services and prepare for the industry’s transition to remote production. In Phase One of a broader network expansion project in the US, The Switch is deploying 100Gbit connectivity to serve customers in the northeast, and plans further phases to extend capacity on the west coast and in other regions.
In Japan, transmission and production services provider Aruji and The Switch are establishing direct two-way transmission between Los Angeles and Tokyo to deliver sports and other live events.
The Switch supplies production and global delivery services for live video. It operates a delivery network that connects production facilities with content producers, distributors and sports and event venues, linking rights holders, broadcasters, streaming platforms, media outlets and web services. These moves to expand are positioning The Switch for future growth, adding to their live production and delivery services particularly for live sports.
Installation of the higher-capacity 100Gbit connections in New England and other parts of the northeast US – Phase One of the project – increases The Switch’s current connectivity to media and sports hubs in the region including Boston, New York, Stamford and Bristol, Connecticut.
Eric Cooney, President and CEO of The Switch, commented that increasing their network capacity across a core part of The Switch network makes a major commitment to remote, agile production. Each phase of the company’s network expansion strategy is intended to support the industry’s shift towards more flexible production and distribution models, which has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Switch has also timed their upgrade project to meet substantial growth in network traffic that, along with growing demand for its production services, makes the availability of higher-capacity delivery more important. The expansion project follows the recent launch of their MIMiC Production-as-a-Service, which increases producers’ flexibility by making cloud-based production available on demand from anywhere in the world.
At the core of The Switch network upgrade are the updated Net Insight Nimbra transport systems that carry media over most network infrastructure types. Net Insight has been a network technology partner of The Switch for some time, developing low-latency, redundant delivery services. The new 100Gbit fibre ring network uses the Nimbra 1060 high density, high-speed media-aware wide area networking media transport platforms designed specifically for all-IP networks and services.
The upgrade also includes Nimbra 680 multiple services media routers and edge compute devices. Modular and redundant, the Nimbra installations allow The Switch to establish a single platform for all media and network functions and deploy network resources according to customers’ needs.
Live Event Feeds to and from Japan
At the same time, The Switch is working beyond the US with Aruji, a Japanese transmission and production services provider, to extend the global reach of its combined transmission networks. The agreement allows The Switch and Aruji’s customers to access live feeds from more events and distribute them via a reliable, robust international network.
The Switch will gain connectivity to stadiums and arenas in Japan to access live events.
Atsushi Kobayashi, Satellite Broadcasting Division Director at Aruji said, “Our customers have high expectations of the live feeds and media experiences they receive, so we are always looking for ways to expand our service capabilities to match their demands. With wide experience in global transmission and connectivity to sports and entertainment venues across North America, working with The Switch allows us to expand our reach and ability to deliver more, higher quality live content.”
As part of the deal, Aruji gains a direct link between its Tokyo facility and The Switch’s Los Angeles Network Operations Center (NOC), allowing Aruji to tap into The Switch’s connections to stadiums and arenas to access concerts and live sports and other live events. Meanwhile The Switch will have access to similar venues and events in Japan, including horseracing and boxing, as well as Aruji’s teleports and production capabilities.
Nicholas Castaneda, Senior Vice President of Sales at The Switch said, “Live content continues to be a key revenue driver for our customers and partners, and Aruji will now be able to pick up live event feeds from anywhere on The Switch network.” www.theswitch.tv