BigBand Lands AT&T Broadband Contract

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Broadband-routing-systems provider BigBand Networks Inc. has landed AT&T
Broadband as a client for its self-healing digital-routing product.

The MSO will be the first to use BigBand's new self-healing redundancy
architecture in its Atlanta system, which passes about 1.2 million cable
homes.

The redundant scheme linking BigBand's 'Broadband Media Service Routers' uses
a strategy similar to that of synchronous optical network (SONET) ring
architectures. BMR routers located at headends are connected via fiber optic
links, using standard network protocols such as Gigabit Ethernet. If one headend
fails or loses a signal source, the routers can transfer the video-signal
traffic to an alternative headend.

Not only does that eliminate service outages, it also cuts the amount of
costly emergency-repair work required. It also allows cablers to consolidate
headends by allowing broadcasts to be pooled in a central hub for
distribution.

'It is increasingly important that the cable industry avoid service
interruptions, given the expansion of revenue-generating programming provided
and high expectations of service quality, especially in large systems serving
the most subscribers,' BigBand vice president of product marketing Richard Peske
said in a release.

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