The BBC has chosen BT to provide its next-generation broadcast network.
The network switch, which is being planned to deliver considerable savings and future digital innovation, will take place in April 2017.
The new network is designed to be more efficient and flexible, with the capacity to add extra services for major events, such as a general election or the Olympics, at a lower cost than the current system.
It will also make it easier for the BBC to deliver data-hungry formats, such as Ultra HD and 360-degree content.
The contract is reportedly worth more than £100 million over seven years, with an optional extension of a further three. It is planned to save the BBC tens of millions of pounds, which would make a significant mark on their £700 million budget cuts.
Matthew Postgate, chief technology officer at the BBC, said, “This is an important step towards building an internet-fit BBC and will allow us to provide more interactive and personalised content in the future. At a time when the BBC faces serious financial challenges, it will also save us tens of millions of pounds so we can focus more of our money on the programmes and services for licence fee payers.”
The new network will carry all video, audio and data traffic, as well as fixed line telephony, ISDN and broadband services, linking all BBC UK sites, as well as connecting to the main overseas bureaux and partners for playout of the BBC’s TV channels.
It will be operated by BT’s global media services operation, BT Media and Broadcast.
Mark Wilson-Dunn, global vice president of BT Media and Broadcast, said, “We are delighted by the BBC’s decision to choose us as their next-generation broadcast network partner. Both of our organisations have a vital part to play in making the best use of advanced technology to support and enable the ever-accelerating evolution of broadcast media.”