RealTime IT News

Global Crossing Crafts Entertainment Extranet

Putting its undersea cables to work, Global Crossing Ltd. said it will roll-out services that connect media and entertainment companies across its fiber optic network.

The New York-based company -- which constructed an expansive worldwide network of undersea cables -- has established itself as a pro in chalking up telecoms on its acquisition's blackboard. Now, Global Crossing is taking the next step by building out a network that's designed to go after verticals in the media space.

In the end, after the company has an extranet in place that offers everything from editing to digital assets and rights management applications, a next logical step would be to turn the telecoms loose as content providers. But let's not get ahead of the big picture.

For now, the company is using over 101,000 route miles -- with more than 200 cities hooked-up -- to send digital files from one media entity to another over its broadband infrastructure. Global Crossing intends to use bandwidth of up to OC 192 and uncompressed 270 MB TV broadcast capabilities to stream media files back and forth at will.

Constellation Ventures, a Bear Stearns company, is supporting the endeavor with approximately $100 million in financing drawn from its $450 million venture capital fund.

In the future, the company said it would also include high-resolution transmission of filmed content as well as storage in media suites located in multiple cities, supported by digital asset management over the company's broadband infrastructure.

Specifically, the extranet will focus on film/television/commercial production, television broadcast and digital asset management supporting video on demand applications to consumers.

David Walsh, president of Global Crossing, pointed to a demand for neutrally embedded applications in media and entertainment organizations.

The storage service provider market will expand from less than $10 million in 1999 to over $8 billion by 2003 according to IDC, an organization that provides industry analysis and market data regarding information technology.