In a PR today, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced that it has enhanced its video offerings to include managed video network services for broadcasters. The new service enables both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint broadcast video delivery between locations over Level 3's network, with dynamic allocation and prioritization of bandwidth. This marks another major step in the integration between Vyvx, which Level 3 acquired from WilTel three years ago, and Level 3's longhaul and metro fiber capabilities.
The first customer for the new offering is Fox, which has of course had a long relationship with Level 3's Vyvx. However, much of that service has been provided over satellite, especially the live broadcasts. Level 3 will now be providing direct fiber connections to 35 Fox locations, including the NYC headquarters, and will support HDTV delivery across the footprint instead. Fiber connectivity for video is quite hot these days, with MediaXstream, Abovenet, and Optimum Lightpath all joining in, but of course Level 3 has a head start and fiber that is both wide and deep.
Now, what this isn't is video over the internet. First, it doesn't actually touch the internet and second it isn't about streaming to the consumer. This is about distributing broadcast feeds, i.e. live and canned news, between sites where it is created, modified, and then sent out to TV screens. It was a lot of bits being sent when it was via satellite, and it can now be even more bits over fiber. There's just a great deal more bandwidth available, which will bring greater and greater flexibility.