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November 9, 1994

BRITISH TELECOM AND VYVX LAUNCH VIDEO SERVICE

By CBR Staff Writer

British Telecommunications Plc and Vyvx Inc, the television services affiliate of Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Cos Inc have entered into an agreement with Teleglobe Canada Inc to provide what is claimed as the first commercial transatlantic fibre-optic video service. The companies say the deal will provide point-to-point delivery of television transmission services between the UK and the US. The service, called AtlanticVision, will be carried at 45Mbps on CANTAT-3, the recently completed Synchronous Digital Hierarchy-based transatlantic fibre-optic cable operated by Teleglobe. According to Vyvx president Del Bothof, AtlanticVision will provide commercial customers with real-time video and video-related services between points in the US served by the Vyvx network and the Telecom Tower in London. Occasional use The service is targeted at the occasional use video market, with likely users including broadcasters, production houses, business television and resellers. Likely applications will include ad hoc television coverage, such as presidential addresses, and the climaxes of sporting events, where only 15 minutes or so coverage is required, said a British Telecom source. However, the company said an occasional use service is a good test-bed to establish the market. The service was inaugurated last month, when a British Telecom official transmitted a message simultaneously to delegates at an Inter-Union Satellite Organisation Group conference in Montreal and to the offices of Vyvx in Washington. The commercial release of AtlanticVision, which will initially be available via satellite, is likely to be this month. The fibre-optic service is scheduled for January next year. Pricing will be about $2,000 per hour, with a range of discounts for regular usage promised. In addition to transmissions between the US and UK, services from Canada to the UK will be provided under a separate pact between Stentor – the Canadian telecommunication alliance whose members include Bell Canada, BCTEL and AGT Ltd – British Telecom and TeleGlobe.

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