Verizon Fiber Gives NBA a Video Assist

Telco inks deal to provide 1080p link to league’s arenas
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Why This Matters: It’s showtime for Verizon’s fiber network, thanks to a pact to link the NBA’s 29 arenas to deliver 1080p video.

As it continues on an ambitious fiber buildout to densify current LTE 4G services and enable emerging 5G ones, Verizon Communications is coming up with what you might call, in basketball parlance, some easy baskets in transition.

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The No. 1 U.S. wireless company is currently touting a new agreement with the NBA in which it will supply a 100 Gigabit-per-second fiber network connecting all 29 of the pro hoops league’s arenas to its centralized broadcast hub.

The new network will enable the NBA to provide 1080p video resolution for all its broadcasts, supporting up to 30 new cameras that will be installed in the league’s arenas.

Each NBA arena will be connected with two diversely routed 100-Gbps fiber circuits, increasing the league’s network bandwidth by tenfold and delivering full redundancies. Each arena will be connected to network hubs in Newark, New Jersey, and Atlanta.

Verizon Wavelength Services will manage the fiber network, but the video distribution will be a managed service overseen by Verizon Digital Media Services. The latter will also operate a dedicated virtual network in Dulles, Virginia, which will monitor video traffic across the network.

Verizon said the project will be completed in latter 2020, around the time the 2020-21 NBA season tips off.

Certainly, Verizon’s extensive 5G fiber buildout isn’t cheap. In 2017, for instance, it signed a $1.1 billion fiber and hardware purchase agreement with Corning to embark on the task. Also in 2017, Verizon agreed to pay Prysmian Group $300 million to provide additional fiber to the buildout.

The NBA deal has nothing to do with 5G. “But we can leverage a lot of that buildout with fiber-based services to enterprise customers like the NBA,” Tony Recine, senior VP and head of commercial management and customer experience at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said.

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