Advanced Television

BSkyB readies for ‘Internet of Everything’

September 24, 2013

By Chris Forrester

now_tv_boxBSkyB is investing in a highly sophisticated Network Convergence System (NCS) from Cisco. While it will take 18 months or so to fully install, the intention is to be ready for a slew of ‘next generation’ services that could include ‘machine to machine’ and Internet of Everything applications.

Cisco says its NCS is the industry’s 1st high-performance convergence system that is scalable, expandable and yet will simplify operations and deliver operational intelligence back. “These capabilities are critical as carriers struggle to keep pace not only with the massive growth in bandwidth from video, cloud and mobile traffic growth, but also trillions of programmable device-driven events predicted to come online, known as the Internet of Everything.”

While Sky’s current focus is largely on carrying video, a glimpse of future demand has occurred within the past few days when iPhone and other iO6 downloads and upgrades exceeded its busiest video demand in terms of bandwidth by 20 per cent.  Sky says that while it is happy to accommodate organic growth of its Sky Go and NOW TV products, as well as Sky Talk and broadband services, it has much larger ambitions.

Laurent Lavallee, Sky’s Head of Network Strategy and Architecture, in a statement, says:  “Sky is the UK’s favorite ‘triple-play’ provider of TV, broadband and home telephony.  At the same time, we’re a leader in Internet TV, operating the UK’s largest on-demand service, as well as innovative over-the-top video services like Sky Go and NOW TV.   As a result, we understand exactly how customers are embracing the internet to access video content, and it’s why we built our broadband network with video delivery in mind.  But to maintain our leadership, and continue to be the best network over which to access video, we need to ensure we can keep well ahead of demand.  The work that we are doing with Cisco and the deployment of Cisco NCS will enable us to expand our capacity and intelligence in the network to be able to keep meeting the evolving needs of our customers.”

Amongst the future portfolio of demands that telcos are preparing for are health and security monitoring services.  “We are at the dawn of a new era in telecommunications, in which Internet networks are evolving to support trillions of connections between people, processes, data and things, including smart programmable devices like phones, tablets, TVs, and much more.  The Cisco NCS was engineered with the programmability, intelligence and scalability to meet the demands of the Internet of Everything into the next decade and beyond.  The NCS delivers an evolved programmable network that will enable service providers to generate new revenue streams and business models, while delivering exciting new experiences to their customers.” said Surya Panditi, SVP and GM, Cisco’s service provider group

Damon Pegg, BSkyB’s principal architect & manager of its Core Network & Video Content Services, speaking exclusively to, said that the new Cisco equipment investment was being made with a view to how Sky’s network might need to grow in the next 10-15 years. “The rate of change today presents some fundamental challenges in scaling our network. What we want is smart scalability. Moreover, we plan and expect for the unexpected!”


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