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BBC On Demand

New Media Age, Jonathan Webdale, 18 Feb 2004

The BBC has confirmed that it's investigating the use of peer-to-peer file sharing for the distribution of its programmes. It follows director general Greg Dyke's announcement at the recent Edinburgh TV festival that the Corporation is planning to make its archive accessible via the Internet.

BBC new media director Ashley Highfield revealed the first details of the plans at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam over the weekend. He said the BBC was developing a 'super EPG' that would work on any platform and let users record programmes as with a PVR.

The Internet Media Player (IMP) will allow programmes to be downloaded or streamed to PC desktops and handheld devices. P2P would provide the BBC with a cost-effective mechanism for responding to the massive demand for bandwidth that would likely be prompted by the launch of IMP.

'A fully flexible, platform-neutral, super EPG is in development that will allow TV content to be recorded TiVo-style,' said Highfield. 'It'll enable shows being broadcast now to be downloaded or streamed, and most significantly [let] TV shows that went out recently to be recalled from our archive and downloaded.

'To save on the huge bandwidth load this will place on us, we're exploring legitimate P2P models to get users to share our content on our behalf transparently.'

Interesting to speculate when "huge bandwidth" might be overtaken by Moore's Law of bandwidth growth... This comes from Growth Networks Inc, now part of Cisco Systems.

Thanks to dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM), a revolution is now occurring that is enabling nearly infinite optical fiber bandwidth.

The number of wavelengths carried per fiber is doubling every year while the [switching] speed for each of these wavelengths is increasing from OC-12 to OC-48 and beyond––enabling an abundance of bandwidth at the optical fiber transport level.

Because of DWDM, optical fiber bandwidth has grown one-million fold in the 1990’s

Meanwhile semiconductor performance has followed Moore’s Law leading to electronic bandwidth growth of only one-hundred-fold in the same period.

[This mismatch is] causing a significant optical-electronic bandwidth gap.

Original link via drsNet.org

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