AT&T Has a Thing for Media
Written By: A. Turner
Published On: August 7 2000
AT&T Has a Thing for Media
In July, AT&T announced its "Ecosystem for Media," a network services
platform with a co-marketing and distribution program that will allow
companies to create, manage and distribute audio and video to millions
of users over the Internet. Working closely with Inktomi, Microsoft, RealNetworks
and other industry leaders, AT&T will leverage its data and Internet infrastructure,
digital media production capabilities and broad network reach to build
a unique suite of media services.
Ecosystem for Media will enable services such as website acceleration,
streaming media, distance learning and media-enriched e-commerce. The
initiative is currently in controlled introduction with general availability
slated for the first quarter of 2001.
AT&T's Ecosystem for Media provides customers with content distribution
options. For businesses that want to use the public Internet to distribute
their content, AT&T's Intelligent Content Distribution Services provide
customers options for accelerating website performance, video-on-demand
and webcasting capabilities. For businesses with enterprise-class networking
needs that want to distribute their content within a private network,
AT&T offers its high-speed packet services.
Based Streaming Media Services:
AT&T's streaming media services provides a service for reaching large
audiences over the Internet. One-to-many multimedia applications operate
at improved levels by optimizing network bandwidth and efficiently managing
traffic destined for multiple endpoints. In the next 18 to 24 months,
AT&T anticipates their streaming media infrastructure will scale to support
10 million simultaneous Internet users.
Data Network Services:
To meet the growing need of enterprises to distribute large media files
throughout their private corporate networks, AT&T announced its Asynchronous
Transfer Mode (ATM) multicast capabilities. By providing a "universal
port", AT&T's ATM multicast service takes content from a single ATM virtual
circuit and replicates it within the AT&T data network for distribution
to multiple end sites.
To provide businesses with a turnkey solution, the AT&T Ecosystem for
Media will offer customers the ability to encode and manage their digital
media. For encoding services, the company will use AT&T Broadband Services'
Digital Media Centers to digitize 'traditional' media, such as VHS or
audiocassette tapes, and convert them for use as "downloadable" or streaming
AT&T's Ecosystem for Media also will include the ability for customers
to create original content through its Digital Media Centers. Located
in Denver, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong, these centers offer extensive
production capabilities including studio, mobile and post-production services.
for Media Co-marketing Program:
AT&T is launching a co-marketing program for the Ecosystem for Media designed
to ensure the success of businesses who are creating, managing or distributing
digital media. The program will allow companies who purchase AT&T's Intelligent
Content Distribution services and who host in AT&T data centers to leverage
the power of AT&T's brand through multiple levels of co-marketing support.
Ecosystem for Media Summary:
The AT&T Ecosystem for Media is built on a foundation of core data and
IP infrastructure resources:
Internet Data Centers (44 centers planned for hosting and co-location
- A portfolio
of broadband services including Cable Internet Access, Digital Subscriber
Line and Fixed Wireless services.
- A portfolio
of private label and virtual Internet Service Provider offers.
- VPN offers
with access to 59 countries around the world. Value-added design and
implementation professional services from AT&T Solutions.
and management services.
AT&T (www.att.com) is among the world's premier voice, video and data
communications companies, serving more than 80 million customers, including
consumers, businesses and government. AT&T has annual revenues of more
than $62 billion and 160,000 employees, and provides services to customers
worldwide. This global reach, depth of resources and strategic partnerships
will help establish their media offerings.
industry giants such as Microsoft (and their recent .NET initiative) endorsing
the Internet as a medium for enabling applications, infrastructure support
offerings will become more important. The development and distribution
of complex media (video streaming, conferencing and related media) is
on the increase. As AT&T's ecosystem offerings are designed to support
the needs of application and media providers, they are positively positioned
to take advantage of this quickly developing market.
Application Service Providers (ASP's), Independent Software Vendors (ISV's)
and others should find AT&T's recent offerings attractive. The infrastructure
offerings defined in AT&T's original "ecosystem" announcement (see our
related article: "AT&T's
Ecosystem") coupled with the latest media services provide users a
positive mix of services. Also worth exploring is the potential co-marketing
AT&T was early, if not the first, to announce their infrastructure offerings,
it will be interesting to see how, and with what programs, the other telecommunications
companies respond. Nortel, Lucent and Worldcom all recently introduced
similar infrastructure programs. If you are considering a solution from
one of these organizations it may be worth identifying their future plans