RealTime IT News

AT&T Launches 'Ecosystem for Media'

AT&T announced Monday a network services platform with a co-marketing and distribution program that will allow companies to create, manage and distribute audio and video over the Internet.

AT&T's Ecosystem for Media will enable businesses to use applications such as Website acceleration, streaming media, distance learning and media-enriched e-commerce. The initiative is currently in controlled introduction with general availability slated for the first quarter of 2001.

Working with Inktomi, Microsoft, RealNetworks and other industry partners, AT&T will leverage its data and Internet infrastructure, its digital media production capabilities and its network reach to build this suite of media services.

Ecosystem for Media provides its customers with content distribution options. For businesses that want to use the public Internet to distribute their content, AT&T's Intelligent Content Distribution Services provide customers with a variety of options for accelerating Website performance, video-on-demand and webcasting capabilities. For businesses with large-scale networking needs that want to distribute their content within a private network, AT&T offers its high-speed packet services.

The company's streaming media services provide customers with a broadcast-scale service for reaching large audiences over the Internet. One-to-many multimedia applications can operate at improved levels by optimizing network bandwidth and managing traffic destined for multiple endpoints. During the next 18 to 24 months, AT&T's streaming media infrastructure will scale to support 10 million simultaneous Internet users.

AT&T plans to use Microsoft's Windows Media and RealNetworks' RealSystem 8 as its initial media formats to provide an industrial-strength platform with the scalability and performance streaming-media applications demand.

"One of AT&T's core competencies is scaling technologies," said Kathleen Earley, president AT&T Data and Internet Services. "We're applying this skill to our media infrastructure and building the capability to stream real-time media to 10 million simultaneous Internet users. We're fully committed to providing businesses with the ability to reach as many people over the Internet as national prime-time television reaches today."

AT&T's streaming media offers supplement AT&T's Intelligent Content Distribution (ICD) Services. AT&T's ICD services employ technology from AT&T Labs as well as Alteon WebSystems, Dell, Inktomi and Novell to improve the performance and reliability of Websites as well as protect against unexpected spikes in traffic.

For encoding services, the company will use AT&T Broadband Services' Digital Media Centers to digitize "traditional" media, such as VHS or audiocassette tapes, and convert them for use as "downloadable" or streaming Internet media.

AT&T also plans to work closely with Loudeye Technologies Inc., which will supply its digital media solutions for digital audio and video content, as well as robust applications to effectively manage media assets.

Ecosystem for Media also will include the ability for customers to create original content through its Digital Media Centers. Located in Denver, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, these centers offer production capabilities including studio, mobile and post-production services to provide customers with a complete suite of services to create video, audio and multimedia content.