The BBC has chosen BT to provide its broadcast network, and enabling the BBC to move to a new, state-of-the-art network based on internet technologies from April 2017.
The new network will link all BBC UK sites, including 21 broadcasting centres and local radio stations, as well as connecting to the main overseas bureaux and partners for playout of the BBC’s TV channels. It will carry all video, audio and data traffic, as well as fixed line telephony, ISDN and broadband services. It will also make it easier for the BBC to work with and explore emerging, data-hungry formats – like Ultra HD (4K), 360-degree content, and others yet to be invented.
“This is an important step towards building an internet-fit BBC and will allow us to provide more interactive and personalised content in the future,” comments Matthew Postgate, Chief Technology Officer at the BBC. “At a time when the BBC faces serious financial challenges, it will also save us tens of millions of pounds so we can focus more of our money on the programmes and services for licence fee payers.”
The contract for the new provider is worth over £100m for seven years, with an option for the BBC to extend for a further three.