16 September 2003

Reticulation of Satellite and Terrestrial Radio and Television services

After extensive discussions covering many years, the Division is in the final stages of negotiating an agreement with a supplier for the installation of the infrastructure required to receive and reticulate local and international radio and television services.

Based on a user requirements study commissioned last year, five suppliers were short listed, and three were invited to submit proposals. One proposal was received from Ritech Communications for the first stage of the project (which will see a number of satellite dishes erected on Building 20 and the infrastructure required to receive 28 video and audio channels via RF though the existing RF aerial network that was installed when the building was constructed). These services will be made available to the RF networks in place in Building 5 and Building 9 when connections to these buildings can be made: this is a separate project involving the University’s networking contractor, ProTech, in consultation with Client Services Division. How we can get the services to Building 1 will depend on the outcome of these discussions.

Some or all of the services will be available over the IP (computer) network as a result of Stage 2 of the project. In Stage 3, users will be able to request, using a World Wide Web form, the recording of any service available over the IP network. The recording will be available digitally for replay over the computer network when required by users. All three stages are funded under the NILL infrastructure funding, and are expected to be completed by July 2004.

Further enhancements of the system will allow digitally recorded materials to be edited and saved on videocassette or DVD. These facilities will depend on us being able to provide other infrastructure (computer hardware, software, network infrastructure and professional development), some of which should be available through NILL funding. Other requirements, particularly professional development, will need to be resourced separately.