BT is upgrading its national network to reliably deliver TV on-demand, partly in preparation for the launch of Project Canvas alongside the BBC and other broadcasters.
The firm's wholesale division today announced it has signed a deal to implement Cisco's Content Delivery System by early next year.
BT was one of three founding partners in Project Canvas, a developing IPTV standard which now includes all the major terrestrial broadcasters, other large ISPs and set-top box manufacturers. It will combine Freeview with on-demand and pay TV.
Broadcasters will be able to directly upload TV to BT's new delivery platform - dubbed "Content Connect" - via a private network, bypassing the public internet. BT Retail and other broadband providers using BT's lines into homes will then be able to deliver it without incurring upstream bandwidth costs and with guaranteed quality of service.
BT already makes use of similar content caching technology to cut costs, but Content Connect marks a concerted effort to cement its relationships with broadcasters, with detailed reporting and analytics.
"This provides broadcasters with the predictable user experience critical to supporting advertising or pay models," BT said. The Cisco kit, "deep in the broadband network", will enable TV traffic to avoid congestion.
The service will also be available to normal web video providers seeking to cut their delivery costs. ®