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.

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