Movielink Taps CWC for Backbone

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Cable & Wireless Communications plc landed a major Internet content distribution account with Movielink. The Internet-based Hollywood film distribution service is using CWC's Internet backbone and caching technology.

CWC said it carries 28 percent of all Internet traffic in the U.S. on its backbone network and caching model. Movielink is using 25 CWC caching servers in strategic positions across the country to get movie downloads to consumers as quickly as possible.

"We can connect an individual to the closet storage center," CWC director of entertainment Jim O'Brien said.

O'Brien — no relation to The Cable Center's Jim O'Brien — has spent many years in the cable business, including a stint at Jones Intercable, so he understands how Movielink should appeal to high-speed subscribers. "It's a better value for cable-modem users," he said.

O'Brien said CWC created custom software for Movielink, allowing the two companies to intelligently distribute the product across the country. The hottest movies are shipped directly to all 25 sites, he said. Those sites were chosen because they met geographic, network performance and load management criteria.

The goal, he said, "is to give consumers the fastest possible download because it makes for a better viewing experience."

Likewise, the CWC system "uses network connectivity propagation to minimize the number of hops and utilize the fastest transit link" to consumers.

The system also uses "anonymous geographic filtering software," he said, which allows Movielink to restrict purchases to the continental U.S., which is a key attribute from both copyright and release window patterns.

"The CWC network was built to be flexible and to handle loads when big promotions are undertaken," he said. The winter and summer will find Movielink showcasing the more popular box office movies, and O'Brien said the management software will allow cable-modem and other Movielink users to get downloads quickly, no matter how many people are connected to the service.

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