Two Transport Takeaways from Telecom Exchange West

Posted by Rosemary Cochran
It was snowing in the mile high city of Denver when my flight landed, but the climate was perfect at Telecom Exchange West. I was there earlier this month to moderate the CEO Roundtable, ā€œBurstable Transport: The Challenges and Opportunities“, which featured four industry executives who related their first hand experiences about why transport connections are substantively more than bit pipes.Ā The discussion covered a number of applications, including live broadcasts, streaming video, Internet content delivery, enterprise dataĀ transport and cloud connectivity.

Here’s a quick recap of some of theĀ roundtable discussion:

  • Wes Hanemayer, VP Video Services at Hibernia Networks, gave an inside view on the challenges of delivering live Olympic broadcasts from Sochi. He related how an extraordinary level of backup was requested by Canadian broadcasters for the Men’s Ice Hockey gold medal game to ensure that fans would not miss a second of the action between Canada and Sweden. The solution incorporated a Swedish broadcast connection –Ā although ultimately Canada won the game (3-0).
  • Erick Contag, COO of GlobeNet, noted thatĀ best practices for transporting liveĀ global broadcastsĀ will be fine-tuned based onĀ experiences from the recent Olympics and the previousĀ games in London. Expectations have clearly heightened for viewing live event broadcasts,Ā plus increasingly forĀ on-demand accessibility to related contentĀ like streaming video. ErickĀ anticipatesĀ that expectations will only get higher for theĀ worldwide broadcasts of the upcoming FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics, both of which are in Brazil.
  • milehighpicMark Taylor, VP Media & IP Services at Level 3,Ā offeredĀ a perspective on how application characteristics dictate the delivery of transport services. Breaking news broadcasts demand near-instant service setup, and the conditions often change quickly as events unfold. Cooperation among transport, broadcast and content providers is essential to making these applications work successfully.Ā In comparison, with the installation of enterpriseĀ applications there isĀ moreĀ time for a provider to engineer transport services toĀ meet the customerā€™sĀ specific requirements.
  • Adam Saenger,Ā Vice President of Portfolio Management at tw telecom, describedĀ why enterprise transportĀ services will need to be moreĀ elasticĀ as companies virtualize their IT applications. Emerging service capabilities for this new environment include the ability for customers to make on-demand adjustments to bandwidth capacity in response to traffic flows,Ā or changesĀ inĀ connectivity to remote data centers or cloud services.Ā Real time network visibility and control areĀ keyĀ componentsĀ for implementing these capabilities.

The two takeaways? First, transport connectivity models are rapidly changing because we want (demand!) access to any type of contentĀ – at any time, on any device, and from anywhere in the world. Second, marketĀ requirements forĀ flexible, reliable, high performance transport afford abundant opportunities for service innovation.