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Optimum Lightpath Lights Up Video Transport

Jeff Baumgartner

Optimum Lightpath , the business services arm of Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), is using its metro Ethernet-based grid to expand into the world of high-end video transport services.

Optimum Lightpath, which operates a 2,700-mile fiber network in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, will target its new Broadcast Video Transport (BVT) offering at area production facilities; broadcasters and TV stations; and enterprise-level businesses, including hospitals.

BVT is the latest product to be added after Optimum Lightpath decided two years ago to move everything off of a TDM architecture to a faster one based on metro Ethernet and native IP, according to Troy Glick, Optimum Lightpath's vice president of product development.

He says some Optimum Lightpath customers have used the company's high-speed delivery system to move video around, but the new offering is optimized for this application, taking special advantage of metro Ethernet's sensitivity to packet loss and jitter.

The service, which has obtained MEF 9 and MEF 14 certification from the MEF , is designed to shuttle compressed and uncompressed analog and digital video, including hi-def content, in both directions. Based on the pricing list for August, the offering will tap into a potentially lucrative market, taking on incumbents such as Verizon Enterprise Solutions , dark fiber suppliers, and satellite-based video transport services.

On the high end, Optimum Lightpath's 300-Mbit/s BVT tier sells for $6,250 per month under a three-year term, while a month-to-month commitment runs about $8,000 per month. The lower-end 10-Mbit/s tier runs $1,500 per month with a three-year term. The company also offers dedicated, bi-directional video speed tiers of 20 Mbit/s, 50 Mbit/s, and 100 Mbit/s. Optimum Lightpath charges $1,000 for the installation of each broadcast video circuit.

Optimum Lightpath is not disclosing its roster of BVT clients, but Glick noted that Rainbow Media Holdings LLC, a division of Cablevision that owns Madison Square Garden and programming networks such as AMC and The Independent Film Channel, was among those involved in earlier beta trials.

"I think it's one of our fastest growing product lines," Glick says of the new BVT offering.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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