Optibase Ready for the Country

Regional telcos in Pennsylvania and Illinois have deployed the Optibase MGW 5100 streaming media platforms to bring multichannel video to rural and suburban areas, competing with cable and satellite providers.

HTC Communications—sister company of Hickory Telephone Co., serving southwest Pennsylvania—is delivering the video over its existing ADSL (Asynchronous DSL) infrastructure along with traditional telephony and broadband Internet access.

“As a small operator, we have to watch our costs on the one hand, while looking out for the newest technology,” said Grier Adamson, CEO of HTC Communications. “Optibase’s carrier-grade platform met all of our stringent requirements at a competitive cost.”

Located in the digital head-end, a single MGW 5100 unit can transmit up to 36 video channels received from various live or pre-recorded sources. The TV content is encoded in low bitrate MPEG-2 format and transported over HTC’s Broadband ATM network. The platform is designed to support MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and Windows Media video formats.

In the Flora area of Illinois, Advanced Technologies and Technical Resources (ATTRI) has also deployed the MGW 5100. The company is cooperating with the Wabash Telephone Cooperative to build a new digital TV headend for delivery of an IP-based consisting of 150 digital TV and music channels along with telephony and Internet.

As most of the access lines in southern Illinois are ADSL-based, ATTRI sought high-quality video at very low bit-rates. The output stream had to be either IP- or ATM-based and the company wanted the option for migration and expansion to the Windows Media format.