Network Ten is one of Australia’s largest media companies, operating three free-to-air television channels in Australia’s five mainland metropolitan markets of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
Network Ten had a need to consolidate its five disparate networks into two converged Wide Area Networks (WANs). This project was conducted to save costs associated with running the network, to increase its capacity and performance and to mitigate risks. Ricoh IT Services has provided ongoing network design, implementation, support, monitoring and management of the Network Ten network for 7 years, and were chosen for this project after a competitive request for proposal process. The selection was based on Ricoh IT Services’ high level of networking expertise and capability, as well as their successful track record in delivering innovative, complex and challenging network projects for Network Ten in the past.
This project presented a significant amount of difficulty due to Network Ten’s specific requirements for guaranteed service quality, unusual data traffic profiles, the large scale of the project and the dependence of Network Ten’s core business functions on the 24×7 operation of the network.
The converged network would have to support critical and sensitive applications such as real-time on-air video, voice, video file transfers, telemetry and typical business applications. To meet strict requirements around quality of service, Ricoh IT Services had to ensure there would be sufficient bandwidth between all sites at any given time to prevent dropped data and voice packets for critical traffic, which could cause noticeable glitches in Network Ten’s programming as well as problems with other applications.
Strict time constraints also added to the project’s challenges. Network Ten needed to get the project completed as fast as possible, which resulted in many changes being implemented during business hours. Also having a large bearing on the project timing were the telecommunications service providers, for as soon as their services came online, Ricoh IT Services had to be ready to start implementing their changes.
With all these challenges in mind, diligent and skilled planning was required to ensure there would be no impact on the Network Ten business.