Military charity and media organisation, the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) has chosen BT to future-proof delivery of its content for UK armed forces serving overseas and at sea.
BFBS provides serving personnel and their families overseas with a variety of television and radio services via satellite, including a bespoke mix of current British TV, public service broadcasting and access to premium sports, series, and movies. From April, this content – which is curated at BFBS’s headquarters in the UK – will be encoded and multiplexed by BT’s Media and Broadcast unit, using its new virtualised platform hosted at BT Tower.
BFBS will join BT’s intelligent broadcast platform, Vena, for content contribution and distribution. BT will also provide uplink services from its earth station in Herefordshire to three of the satellites used by BFBS to reach its global audience.
Ben Chapman, CEO of BFBS, said: “Moving to BT’s Vena network and virtualised platform offers us the agility to flex and adjust to the evolving needs of our armed forces overseas. It also ensures a secure, robust, and future-proof method of delivering our media content.
“BFBS is already a trusted and reliable source of media for the military, and this partnership with BT strengthens the technology behind the distribution of our TV, radio, and data services. This is vital, as our channels increase wellbeing and morale for those deployed worldwide, not only in well-connected regions, but in remote and austere locations too.”
BFBS joins a growing number of broadcasters on the Vena platform that will process and simplify content production and distribution. The agreement also includes the provision of digital coding and multiplexing, essentially combining multiple content streams into one before distribution to armed forces personnel watching in multiple locations across the globe. All this will be under one umbrella service with full end-to-end, round-the-clock monitoring provided from its International Media Centre at BT Tower.
Faisal Mahomed, Director of BT Media and Broadcast & UK Portfolio Businesses said: “We’re excited to support BFBS with this transition to cloud-based broadcasting. It’s an organisation with a purpose that sits at the heart of BT’s ambitions to connect for good, and we will help them bring content every day to armed forces personnel and their families around the world – including those often serving in difficult or extreme locations.
“Our Vena platform was built to offer broadcasters the resilience and flexibility to serve audiences wherever they are, and this is a great example of its potential for the industry.
“BT has a long history of supporting the armed forces and this new partnership with BFBS is building on that heritage and using the power of technology to future-proof services for an organisation that entertains, informs, connects and champions the UK’s armed forces both domestically and across the globe.”
Image: British Armed Forces personnel watching BFBS TV in Cyprus.
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About the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS)
BFBS is a military charity and media organisation that entertains, informs, connects, and champions the UK armed forces.
We bring entertainment, news, sport and information services to the military, their families, and veterans worldwide. We spread happiness and keep people in touch, building morale among the military overseas – offering them a valuable connection to life back home, and a way to share experiences and build communities.
We are also the home of military content, championing the military by keeping their activities in the public eye on our Forces digital channels.
And our commercial services, which provide income for our charity, span training, digital and creative services, and pioneering technology solutions that enable media and communication in the hardest to reach places.
About BT Group
BT Group is the UK’s leading provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications and related secure digital products, solutions, and services. We also provide managed telecommunications, security and network and IT infrastructure services to customers across 180 countries.
BT Group consists of three customer-facing units: Consumer serves individuals and families in the UK; Business covers companies and public services in the UK and internationally; Openreach is an independently governed, wholly owned subsidiary wholesaling fixed access infrastructure services to its customers – over 650 communications providers across the UK.
British Telecommunications plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/about