In case you missed it, Cablevision’s business arm, Optimum Lightpath, is up with a “managed video service as a complete Ethernet solution for video.” On the business-services front, it’s a big deal.
What’s “managed” about it?
Here’s what’s going on. When big video originators — broadcasters, cable programmers — need to move video around a “wide area network,” meaning the fiber optic wires ringing a city, they traditionally buy fixed-size circuits from a local telco to get the video in and out of the building. To blend those circuits onto the fiber, telcos typically use a technique called SONET, which stands for synchronous optical network.
The rub of it is, they have to buy a fixed amount of capacity, even if they’re only using a portion of it.
Incumbent telcos charge for these transport services using a predictably inscrutable rate card. Port charges apply to get on and off the optical network. Then, mileage charges. And different rates apply for different types of native digital video protocols: If you’re sending in ASI, you pay differently than if you’re sending in SDI. Ditto for HD-SDI.
(“ASI,” Asynchronous Serial Interface; “SDI,” Serial Digital Interface, and “HD-SDI,” High-Definition Serial Digital Interface,” are all broadcaster-centric methods for moving uncompressed, streaming video.)
Lightpath’s alternative moves the video of big video companies around on the fiber it owns, using Ethernet. This, in and of itself, is a big change: It used to be that Ethernet and digital video didn’t get along, because Ethernet wasn’t designed to handle a continuous stream of information — like video.
Practically, what Lightpath’s work means is that video-centric companies in New York can save around 30% on transport fees, by switching to Ethernet. The savings come from not having to pay for a fixed chunk of bandwidth, from not having to pay differently for different protocols and from not having to pay for fiber-optic mileage.
Ultimately, Lightpath’s Ethernet-based approach gives big video businesses better management over the cost side of transporting their goods.
Note: As often happens in the lingo of business services, the Optimum Lightpath release bulged with unfamiliar vocabulary. “Mileage-neutral” seemed pretty straightforward, as did “flat-rate pricing.” But “dedicated Layer 2 point-to point” and “Ethernet solution for video” exemplify a few areas where it’s easy to glaze over. More on that next time.
Stumped by gibberish? Visit Leslie Ellis at
The smarter way to stay on top of the multichannel video marketplace. Sign up below.
Thank you for signing up to Multichannel News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.