MILAN, September 10, 2007 - Cisco® announced today that Radiotelevisione Italiana S.p.A. (RAI), the Italian public service broadcaster, has deployed the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System as the high-performance interconnect between its video Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) and the Milan Internet Exchange (MIX). The RAI Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department started distribution of video traffic to carriers via MIX in July following the successful deployment of the CRS-1 system by system integration partner, IBM Global Technology Services. The new network will enable RAI to offer a rich variety of television content to customers over the Web.
RAI is developing the video IP NGN as an open and highly secure platform to support the growing demand for broadband entertainment services and its strategic development of new IP-based platforms for the distribution of digital multimedia content. As a public service broadcaster, RAI has a charter to guarantee access to its program content for Italian citizens via PCs at home and abroad. The current investment will extend RAI TV content to a global audience by making video available at optimal cost. The popularity of web TV is growing in Italy with the RAI web portal, www.rai.tv, receiving 76 million page views per month, representing approximately 14 percent growth year-on-year.
The RAI IP NGN already uses Cisco 12000 Series Routers, and building on the success of that platform, RAI selected the CRS-1 routing system to provide the 2.5 gigabits-per-second point of interconnection with the MIX. The CRS-1 system was considered the right choice to meet RAI's needs for scalability and realiability, and to be particularly suited to routing the high volume of video traffic that will be flowing through the interconnection point.
"RAI is leading the broadcasting sector in embracing the IP NGN to provide innovative solutions for the broadband entertainment market," said Stefano Venturi, chief executive of Cisco Italy and vice president of Cisco. "Today's announcement is another significant proof point that the combination of IPTV and Web TV is driving the transformation of the network in all segments."
About RAI S.p.A.
RAI is the public broadcaster for radio and TV programmes in Italy. Rai has maintained the leadership position in 2006 with a 45% of daily share and more than 44% in the prime time shift. Rai transmits Tv on three national channels (more than 24,000 TV hours), twelve satellite channels ( five of them are pay channels, five are free channels on Sky platform and two channels are devoted to keep in contact the Italian people outside Italy); eight channels are distributed on the DTT platform with interactive facilities.
Rai provides also one national Teletext and 20 regional Teletext. On Internet Rai distributes a tv channel, fully dedicated to the news 24 hours per day and 7 days per week named Rainews24. Rai provides more than 80000 hours on the radio networks with three national channels. Furthermore two channels are specifically devoted to the activities of the Italian Parliament and to the people travelling on the highways. In the on air radio are included also special programs for the language minorities, specific programs for the Italian people in the world and the fixed wire radio channel.
RAI Group includes the following Subsidiary Companies: RaiSat (satellite channels), Rai Sipra (advertising activities), RaiCorporation (for the American markets), RaiTrade (distribution, marketing and merchandising of RAI products), RaiWay (Trasmission and Broadcasting Operations), RaiCinema (dealing in Cinema production and purchasing), Rai Net ( Internet activities ), RaiClick ( joint venture on IPTV with E-Biscom).