BBC signs up Siemens to oversee optical fibre network


BBC signs up Siemens to oversee optical fibre network

Nick Huber

Siemens Business Services is to oversee the development of a new optical fibre network for the BBC, carrying voice, transmitting voice, data and digital content across the broadcaster’s sites.

Siemens, which finalised a 10-year £2bn IT outsourcing deal with the BBC last October, has also announced plans to develop a "security architecture". This will allow BBC staff to share data securely and guard access to the network and will be provided in conjunction with telecom company Energis.

Tom White, UK managing director of Siemens Business Services, said that it was on track to meet the BBC’s target of around £30m a year in cost savings over the lifetime of the contract.

He added that 1,500 staff from the BBC Technology, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, had now transferred to Siemens.

"[The new security technology] will protect digital content, programmes and data," said White. "The technology will guard every access point to the BBC’s data network whether it’s a person logging on at TV centre, an employee working from home, or a third-party company [dealing with the BBC]."

As part of the innovative 10-year outsourcing deal with the BBC, Siemens acquired BBC technology.

Other ongoing projects include storing programming content and other data in a digital form rather than on tape and developing production systems based on common software and hardware. This will allow staff to make programmes from their desktop.

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