There are certain applications that require the creation of point to multi-point broadband services that are completely reliable and effective. One such scenario is to support the delivery of broadcast TV content from a studio or playout centre to multiple points on a network, such as transmission masts based around the country for the broadcast of digital television into homes.

The reliable delivery of television programmes is a complex business, comprised of two separate elements. The first is a series of transmitters dotted around a country at the edge of an IP network. The role of these transmitters is to broadcast programmes over the air to be received by any television that had an effective enough aerial pointing towards the transmission mast and within range of the mast to pick up the signal. Essentially the transmission masts are beacons beaming out content to any television in the area that can pick up the broadcast.

The more challenging aspect to broadcasting television, particularly live transmissions, is getting the content to these transmission masts themselves. This involves delivering content from a central hub – either the venue where the event is taking place or a playout studio, across an IP network, to the transmitters at the edge of the network that then pass the content on to viewers.

Television, particularly live television, is an unforgiving business. Viewers do not take kindly to interruptions in the delivery of live events and such interruptions can seriously impact on the brand perception of broadcasters as well as having a real impact on advertising revenues.

In these circumstances reliability is a must. Networks literally have to work. However, network failures can and do take place. Routers fail, network connections can be lost. Traditionally companies tasked with delivering live broadcasts to the transmitters at the edge of the network would need to deploy two separate networks with immediate switching between each one in case of failure. This is, however, an extremely expensive solution, with the deployment of two networks for one function.

A more effective solution was deployed by Aria Networks in an unnamed country with a major national carrier. Aria Networks delivered a software defined solution to ensure that content was still delivered even if a router or network connection failed within the network. By deploying artificial intelligence to instantly identify any network failure and re-route traffic in real time across different routes, Aria Networks was able to deliver a fully automated point to multi-point network yet significantly improve the efficiency of the network, reducing network redundancy.

At the Broadband World Forum in London on Wednesday 21st October, Dr Jay Perrett, Chief Technology Officer of Aria Networks will present a detailed overview of how this was achieved and how the deployment of automation in point to multi-point networks can improve efficiency and reliability whilst reducing the overall cost of the network.