Broadwing Plans Video Services
Broadwing Communications LLC and Covad Communications Inc. (OTC: COVD) appear headed into the broadcast video market, as a source says the companies have teamed up with Swedish equipment vendor Net Insight AB (Stockholm: NETI-B).
Broadwing and Covad recently hooked up themselves, to link Covad's DSL offerings with the Broadwing optical network. The source says the arrangement, targeting video to the home, is being spurred by involvement from David Huber, who founded Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV) and crafted its move into the carrier space through the acquisition of Broadwing. (See Broadwing, Covad Partner and Corvis & Broadwing: Together At Last.)
Initially involved with Sonet/SDH transport, Net Insight now builds boxes targeted at circuit-like networking for video feeds and large video files. Among its customers is U.S. provider Savvis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: SVVS), which has set up a link between Washington D.C. and New York that's used by ABC and MSNBC.
Net Insight CEO Tomas Duffy confirms that his company is working with Broadwing, although he won't give details about the partnership.
Broadwing certainly has aspirations in the broadcast and cable markets. The company in July hired Vyvx founder Delwin Bothof to help expand its video distribution business into broadcast and cable TV circles; Vyvx is the video transport subsidiary of WilTel Communications Group Inc. (Nasdaq: WTEL).
Broadwing officials wouldn't confirm whether Net Insight fits into its video plans, however. "We haven't talked about anything in public in terms of partners," says Todd Kiehn, senior product manager for Broadwing's IP business.
It's certainly feasible that Net Insight and Broadwing have teamed up, especially considering Net Insight's newly hired, U.S.-based sales manager, Steven East, is a former Broadwing executive (see Net Insight Hires Global Sales Head).
If Broadwing has aspirations on the broadcasters' market, it's probably at the transport level, says Darcey Lorincz, Savvis's senior vice president of global rich media services. "They probably will be going after the pipe side of the business and will be competition for the likes of Vyvx," he says. "We add storage and computing on top of that, so the pipes aren't as significant."
Like the defunct Dynarc AB, Net Insight started out crafting dynamic synchronous transfer mode (DTM) technology for Sonet/SDH rings -- a technology that can reserve bandwith for video, to provide the quality of service (QOS) Net Insight now touts.
Unlike Dynarc, Net Insight escaped into the video transport market, scoring wins that include the European Broadcasting Union and German broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) (see Net Insight Wins TV Contract and German TV Co. Deploys Net Insight).
Separately, Net Insight expanded today, announcing the proposed acquisition of Q2 Labs, a startup financed by founders of Qeyton Systems. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) acquired Qeyton for $700 million, eventually discontinuing the products involved. By contrast, Net Insight has offered the equivalent of $700,000 in stock for Q2, Duffy says. About eight of Q2's 19 employees will join Net Insight.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading