Broadband News

Openreach announces full launch of its GEA multicast service

The rise of the IPTV monster continues and the recent news that Openreach is to do the full commercial launch of its GEA Multicast service on 25th November may help to push utilisation of the option.

GEA Multicast allows broadband providers to deliver an IP based TV signal to the handover point for the Openreach fibre network and then have it broadcast to all the customers who want to receive the stream. As such this helps operators provide a TV service using less bandwidth to the handover exchange and for Openreach reduces the bandwidth used on the fibre that runs from the exchanges to the thousands of street cabinets.

While so far streams over BT TV have only utilised SD and HD resolutions, multicast bandwidth savings may mean that 3D and ultra HDTV start to emerge, and with Sky yet to offer a retail UHDTV service it could give IPTV based solutions a unique selling point.

BT Wholesale on its WBC ADSL2+ network also supports multicast, but with lower speeds and smaller numbers of channels and is unlikely to offer an ultra HDTV service.


Main issue is the rights costs for providers, makes it uncompetitive vs P2P networks.

  • otester
  • over 7 years ago

What I would like to know is will BT et all offer a "proper" cable tv alternative to Virgin Media? I don't want Youview as you need a aerial.

  • Horizon911
  • over 7 years ago

3D ect ect, all are not needed Then internet isn't for broadcast tv

  • tommy45
  • over 7 years ago

The internet is perfectly happy delivering broadcast TV, Tommy.

  • Dixinormous
  • over 7 years ago

I think @tommy45 fails to understand how multicast works. If a customer requests a channel it is routed to the cabinet and then to the customer. If another customer on the same cabinet requests it they are sent it too. However, only a single copy of the data is coming into the cabinet and if nobody is watching it is not sent at all.

This is even better if the source IS the Internet as it frees up more bandwidth on the backhaul for everything else, such as on-demand services.

  • alexatkinuk
  • over 7 years ago

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