Orcon signs ecast to video hosting and streaming network

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Orcon has signed ecast to its Content Delivery Network, on the heels of signing Sky’s online TV service iSky last year.

The new customer is ecast, a digital video distribution specialist to the commercial, education, training and corporate sectors in New Zealand and overseas. 

The company, which is New Zealand owned, also runs a free-to-view Internet television network called ecasttv, which hosts content including niche news channels such as Al Jazeera, archived New Zealand footage and a science channel, said managing director Steve Brebner.

Previously ecast had built its own hosting arrangement and invested money into building its own CDN, over the last six years, Mr Brebner said.

T”he technology world has moved very quickly in that time and we did our forecasts and research and it was proven without any doubt that the best thing to be doing was to have what we call a virtual hosting or cloud hosting service and utilise the R&D that Orcon had done with their partners around building their own CDN.”

The company chose Orcon because the telco had proven it ran a fast and reliable network, Mr Brebner said, through testing ecast conducted over several months and through the fact that Orcon hosted Sky’s services.

Signing with Orcon meant faster delivery at a lower cost for the company and the fact that it would not be exposed to technology changes, he said.

“The cost of upgrading servers and CDN is significant and the whole world’s moving away from it.”

The value of the deal was private, Mr Brebner said, and varied from year to year depending upon the amount streamed.  However he said ecast streamed a significant amount of data.

“We put a lot of content onto their servers, probably more than anyone else in the country.”

Mr Brebner said ecast was in for the long haul with the deal.

Orcon’s CDN used Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform, underpinned by Orcon’s data network.  The platform is designed specifically for network service providers and builds on existing network investments and assets, the Velocix website said.

The CDN could peer openly with any broadband service provider and support any content provider, Orcon said.

The Velocix technology was installed at strategic points on the Orcon network around the country, Orcon general manager of wholesale Charlie Boyd said.

“It’s from these points that we stream the data which enables us to house the content closer to the end user and that lowers access costs and reduces the price of streaming to consumers.”

Mr Boyd said the amount of online video watched by broadband users was skyrocketing.

 “And with the fibre-based, ultra-broadband future almost upon us data growth is accelerating.”

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