1. Carrier Ethernet A Slam Dunk For The Boston Celtics

    CEN Feature (Jan 8 2013)

    1. Carrier Ethernet A Slam Dunk For The Boston Celtics

      What’s good for baseball is also good for basketball when it comes to Carrier Ethernet. Like the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox, another sports legend, the Boston Celtics, have turned to Comcast Business Services to supply the team with Ethernet services between critical facilities.

      Comcast has installed a 100 Mbps Ethernet Private Line (EPL) connection between the team’s administrative offices in downtown Boston and its practice facility in Waltham, Mass., a suburb of Boston, as well as a 50 Mbps dedicated Ethernet port for Internet access. The links support coaches, scouts and trainers as they create scouting reports and analyze game films. They also enable business and communications professionals to be in constant contact and facilitate public appearances, media interviews and other events in real-time.

      The Celtics swapped out their legacy service for the new set up, according to Jay Wessel, vice president of technology for the Boston Celtics. His prior relationship with the broadcast division of Comcast led him to investigate what Comcast Business Services could offer when those contracts expired.

      “A year ago this was happening on a T3 in Waltham and bundled T1s in Boston,” said Wessel. “From my perspective, choosing the Ethernet product was easy. It is inexpensive, simple and it provides me with a whole lot of bandwidth.”

      “Comcast is definitely riding the Ethernet wave as more sports teams see the value in it, and we’ll continue to do more with this vertical,” said Karen Schmidt, executive director of product management and strategy for Comcast Business Services. “Sports organizations have high bandwidth requirements with all the video and images that they need to transfer, so Ethernet from Comcast is a great fit for them.”

      The Celtics’ voice provider wanted the club to stick with its existing PRI’s so Comcast provided a converter that puts all the voice traffic onto the Ethernet link, said Wessel. While the voluminous amount of video transmitted between Waltham and Boston was handled well by the T3, Ethernet was less costly and more flexible, he added.

      The dedicated Internet connection provided by Comcast is mirrored by a Verizon link for redundancy purposes. Both facilities can access either link via the EPL. Having lived through Boston’s “Big Dig” tunnel project and its accompanying outages, Wessel said he prefers to work with carriers that have completely redundant fiber facilities. The bundle of Comcast fiber that comes into the basement of his building in Boston is completely different than the fiber that comes in from Verizon. Comcast also built out about a mile of fiber to reach the Waltham practice facility, he added.

      Wessel likes the fact that Ethernet requires significantly less equipment to do the same job. He also appreciates the simplified billing and having the ability to dial his bandwidth up and back down for special events that create more traffic than usual.

      Schmidt added, there are so many ways that sports teams can use Ethernet including providing Wi-Fi for fans, video scoreboards, supporting the members of the press who are using social media during the game and much more.

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