RealTime IT News

RealNetworks Teams with ISPs In Network Launch

RealNetworks Inc. announced Monday at the National Association of Broadcasters Conference it is teaming with a host of backbone, broadband and Internet service providers to expand distribution of its multi-tier broadcast service.

The company said its Real Broadcast Network (RBN) is offering several improvements in both capacity and service. It is now available via several outlets, including backbone providers Sprint, AT&T, GTE, and Teleglobe; broadband provider Enron Communications and ISPs including Concentric Network, EarthLink, IDT, MindSpring, SNET Internet and Verio. The partnership agreements aim to improve Web broadcasting by intelligently routing users to the closest RBN broadcast hub on an Internet backbone or within an ISP.

RBN's broadcast operations center is based in Seattle, Washington and manages the network of broadcast hubs jointly located at backbone providers and ISP points-of-presence (POPs). RealNetworks is also employing co-location services from Sprint, AT&T, GTE and Teleglobe to place broadcast hubs on the Internet backbone to expand RBN's capacity to deliver large-scale live and on-demand Internet broadcasts.

In addition, RBN has installed broadcast hubs on the Enron Intelligent Network to deliver streaming rich media to the desktop at an average bitrate of 200Kbps, 10 times faster than what is now available on the Internet.

The company's ISP partners, Concentric Network, EarthLink, IDT, MindSpring, SNET Internet, and Verio are incorporating broadcast hubs which allow content providers to offer users one-stop access to rich programming directly from the ISPs' networks.

"Today's RBN announcement builds upon the critical mass of more than 57 million registered RealPlayer users who view programming from more than 400,000 Web pages on the Internet," said Len Jordan, senior vice president, Media Systems, RealNetworks, Inc.

"This breakthrough architecture and set of world class partners instantly improves the quality of Internet-based programming and provides Internet broadcasters with a platform which scales to reach even larger audiences," Jordan said.

"Given RealNetworks technical leadership and more than 85 percent share of the streaming media market, they were an obvious choice for us to team with in building a state-of-the-art Internet broadcast infrastructure," said Erika Jolly, vice president of Product Development and Management, MindSpring Internet Services.