ABC Purchases U-Share to Streamline Digital Audio Exchange

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) is using Netia's U-Share to streamline distribution of non-same-day periodic content and to exchange non-critical files for standard use at ABC Radio stations.

By enabling delivery of this content over the ABC network when traffic is low, the U-Share network management system frees up bandwidth for rapid delivery of critical content, even during the network's busiest times.

In ABC's existing workflow, content is played out over an audio line, either ISDN or satellite, and recorded on one or several receivers or delivered via an ad-hoc file transfer. U-Share helps address the problem of transferring audio files, such as music and promotions, among those stations more efficiently.

All content being exchanged passes over the audio network or ABC's IP network. Real-time exchanges take place throughout the day, but at "rush hour", the volume of content being transferred can saturate the network. Because users lack the ability to prioritize critical audio information, the exchanges slow down or even stall and are completed at a later date.

This can be an issue in particular for the smaller local ABC affiliate stations that rely on IP connections with bandwidth ranging from 128 kbps to 512 kbps. The transfer of audio files could be sluggish in these cases, and each file exchange can consume valuable bandwidth normally dedicated to the stations' Web sites.

In its implementation at ABC Radio, U-Share will allow the broadcaster to plan audio file and metadata transfers through a basic reservation process while maximizing bandwidth usage. Non-critical audio elements that don't need to be transferred immediately will be exchanged by U-Share outside of peak hours.

U-Share also allows ABC Radio staff to use the Radio-Assist browser to flip through low-quality content stored remotely. Generating only minimal traffic on the network, the user can listen to audio within the remote database and plan a high-quality file transfer for a time when bandwidth usage is at a low.